On Sunday, July 22, Russian Mission Control decided to undock the Progress 47 robotic resupply capsule from the International Space Station (ISS), in order to have it dock again earlier today. The goal was to test a new automated docking system, called Kurs-NA, but the procedure apparently failed.
Expedition 32 astronauts say that the rendezvous system the Russian Federal Space Agency upgraded recently failed to allow the capsule to attach itself to the orbital lab. The procedure was supposed to take place at 0157 GMT today, July 24.
Officials say that the docking attempt was aborted, and that Progress 47 will spend all of this week in low-Earth orbit, waiting its chance to meet up with the ISS again, this Sunday. At this point, the root causes of the malfunctions are not known.
“The test was proceeding normally until about the time that the new Kurs-NA rendezvous system was to be engaged. As commands were being issued to activate the Kurs system, a failure was annunciated, triggering a passive abort,” the American space agency said in a statement