Successful launch of Progress M-52
On 28 February 2005 the unmanned Progress M-52 spacecraft lifted off as scheduled at 10:09 (14:09 EST) from Baikonur cosmodrome. The spacecraft is set to dock with the International Space Station on Wednesday.
Onboard were 2.75 tonnes of food, water, fuel and research equipment as well as equipment for Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV).
"The launch went without a hitch," said Valery Lyndin, a spokesman for Mission Control in Korolev.
After Monday's successful launch, Anatoly Perminov, Head of the Federal Space Agency, said that he highly appreciated the work of the specialists from RSC Energia, KB OM, TsKB Progress, FSC Baikonur, TsENKI and other sections of the Russian Space industry. “The launch was carried out to a high degree of accuracy and in the allotted time. It shows the professionalism of the launch team and confirms the reliability of Russian space technologies,” he said.
Undocking of Progress M-51
In order to free the docking port on the ISS for the Progress M-52, the Progress M-51 cargo spaceship undocked from the ISS at 19:06 Moscow time on Sunday 27 February.
Valery Lyndin at Mission Control said: “Three minutes after undocking the Progress M-51 engines took the freighter away from the ISS and the engines were then used to lower the orbit of the M-51, an operation that took about 1.5 hours. Progress M-51 will stay in its new orbit for 10 days to test new types of orientation that will help to reduce the microgravity load.
“These tests are necessary for future orbiting modules that will be used to grow super-clean bio-crystals and alloys in minimum microgravity.