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Progress MS-18 cargo ship begins two-day chase of space station

28 Oct 2021, 03:50 UTC
Progress MS-18 cargo ship begins two-day chase of space station
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Progress MS-18 is launched atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Roscosmos
Russia’s unpiloted Progress MS-18 cargo spacecraft has launched into space on a two-day trek to meet up with the International Space Station.
Liftoff took place at 8 p.m. EDT Oct. 27 (midnight UTC Oct. 28), 2021, from Site 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Progress MS-18 is launched into the early-morning Kazakhstan skies. Credit: Roscosmos
Sending the spacecraft into space was a 150-foot-tall (46-meter-tall), three-stage Soyuz 2.1a rocket. The first stage consisted of four strap-on liquid-fueled boosters, each with a single RD-107A engine. The second stage doubles as the vehicle’s core and uses a single RD-108A engine.
Together at liftoff, their combined five engines fired, consuming liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene, to begin pushing Progress MS-18 toward space.
After about two minutes, the four first stage boosters fell away, forming a pattern in the sky commonly called the “Korolev Cross.”
The core stage, meanwhile, continued burning for an additional three minutes until it, too, had consumed its fuel. During that time, the payload fairing protecting the Progress spacecraft was jettisoned as the stack was high enough out of the atmosphere and was no ...

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