Images credit & copyright: Roscosmos. Live streaming links below.
Launch Alert! Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 05:32 EDT (09:32 UTC) a Russian Soyuz 2.1a rocket will deliver a Progress MS cargo ship designated “Progress MS-07” (68P or Progress 68 by NASA) to the International Space Station (ISS) from Launch Complex 31/6 (LC-31/6) at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. When it docks to the aft port of the Pirs “Peir” Service Module just 3.5 hr. (2 orbits) later, it will deliver roughly 2,400 lb. (1,110 kg) of food, fuel and supplies.
This will be the 157th Progress flight and the 68th to the ISS in its nearly 40 year history.
Roscosmos Progress MS Spacecraft: The Roscosmos, Progress MS spacecraft is one of only four spacecraft (along with SpaceX’s Dragon, Orbital ATK’s Cygnus & JAXA’s HTV) that can resupply the International Space Station (ISS). It is expendable so it doesn’t have cargo return capability like SpaceX’s Dragon but it can dock to Station without having to be captured and berthed. ESA’s ATV was the only other cargo vehicle that could accomplish this.
Progress is an un-crewed, three-module design (forward, fuel & propulsion) derived from the crew rated Soyuz spacecraft and is very similar in size and appearance. At 7.23 m (23.7 ft.) tall and 2.72m (8.9 ft.) in diameter, it has a volume of 7.6 m3 (268 ft.3) and a total payload capacity of 2,400 kg (5,300 lb.). Progress can remain at Station for about six months where is also serves for station-keeping, which is where the orbit of the ISS is raised after atmospheric drag reduces its orbital energy.
Also; it’s important to use the “Progress” designation more than ever as the cargo missions “Progress MS” and the crew rated “Soyuz MS” are both using the MS numbering configuration using the Soyuz & Progress titles to differentiate.
TsSKB-Progress Soyuz 2.1a (Soyuz ST) Rocket: The TsSKB-Progress Soyuz 2.1a (often called Soyuz ST) rocket is a three stage rocket that stands 46.2 m. (152 ft.) tall with a diameter of 10.3 m. (34 ft.) at its base and is for the most part, a digitally upgraded Soyuz U (analog based) launch vehicle (as is the 2.1b).
Payloads to Orbit (Soyuz 2.1a):
Low Earth Orbit (LEO): 4,850 kg (10,692 lb.)
Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO): 4,400 kg (9,700 lb.)
Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO): 3,250 kg. (7,170 lb.)
Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO): 1,440 kg. (3,170 lb.)
Payload Fairing: Soyuz’s payload fairing is a two-shell protective enclosure 11.4 m (37 f. 5 in.) in length, 4.11 m (13 f. 6 in.) in diameter and protects the spacecraft during launch and the turbulence of ascent before being jettisoned.
Fregat Upper Stage (3rd stage): The Fregat upper stage is 1.5 m (4 ft. 11 in.) in length with a diameter of 3.35 m (11 ft.). Its single S5.92 engine uses nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) for fuel and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) as an oxidizer, delivering 19.85 kN (4,600 lb.) of thrust and a burn time of 1,100 seconds and can be restarted 20 times in flight.
Second Stage (ST-B): ST-B stage is 6.7 m (22 ft.) in length with a diameter of 2.66 m (8 ft. 9 in.). Its single RD-0124 engine uses liquid oxygen (LOX) as fuel and Kerosene as an oxidizer, delivering 297.9 kN (67,000 lb.) of thrust and a burn time of 270 seconds.
Core Stage (1st stage): Core stage is 27.1 m (89 ft.) in length with a diameter of 2.95 m (9 ft. 8 in.). It single RD-180A engine uses liquid oxygen (LOX) as fuel and Kerosene as an oxidizer, delivering 792.5 kN (178,200 lb.) of thrust and a burn time of 286 seconds.
Boosters: Soyuz’s 4 boosters are each 19.6 m (64 ft.) in length with a diameter of 2.68 m (8ft. 10 in.). Each of their single RD-107A engines uses liquid oxygen (LOX) as fuel and Kerosene as an oxidizer, delivering 838.5 kN (188,500 lb.) of thrust and a burn time of 118 seconds.
Launch coverage: Thursday, October 12 at 05:15 EDT (09:15 UTC).
Rendezvous & Docking coverage: Thursday, October 12 at 08:15 EDT (12:15 UTC).
Live Streaming Feed (NASA TV): http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
NASA TV on Ustream: http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv
NASA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NASA/
NASA YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/NASA
NASA TV schedule: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/schedule.html
Progress MS-07 (ISS 68P or Progress 68) Mission Information:
NASA press release for Progress MS-07 (68P): https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-televise-international-space-station-cargo-ship-launch-docking-0
Energia Progress MS-07 images: https://www.energia.ru/english/index.html
Wiki Progress MS-07 page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progress_MS-07
General 2017 Launch List: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_in_spaceflight
General ISS Pages:
All NASA Social Media: https://www.nasa.gov/socialmedia
NASA’s HDEV 24hr LIVE streaming feed from the ISS: https://danspace77.com/2014/05/07/nasahdev-deliver-live-streaming-view-of-earth-from-the-iss/
NASA ISS main mission page: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/
NASA ISS Blog: http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/
ISS Main Twitter: https://twitter.com/Space_Station
ISS Research Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISS_Research
ISS CASIS Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISSCASIS?lang=en
ISS Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ISS
ISS CASIS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISSCASIS
ISS Instagram: http://instagram.com/iss
ISS CASIS Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iss_casis/
NASA ISS multimedia pages: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/multimedia/index.html
NASA ISS Photos (All the photos you will ever need from the ISS): http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/index.html
NASA “2 Explore” Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/
NASA “HQ Photostream” Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/
NASA “Goddard” Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/
NASA Spaceflight TMA-15M: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31414.0
Roscosmos homepage: http://www.federalspace.ru/
Great ISS schedule page: http://spaceflight101.com/iss/iss-calendar/
All ISS Expeditions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_International_Space_Station_expeditions
All Russian manned missions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Russian_manned_space_missions
Main Site: http://en.roscosmos.ru/
S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation “RSC Energia”
Main Site: http://www.energia.ru/english/index.html
Progress Rocket Space Centre (TsSKB):
Soyuz Rocket & Spacecraft & Progress Spacecraft:
Soyuz Rocket Family: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_(rocket_family)
Soyuz 2 Rocket: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz-2#Soyuz-2.1a
Soyuz 2 Rocket: http://spaceflight101.com/spacerockets/soyuz-2-1b/
Soyuz Spacecraft: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_(spacecraft)
Soyuz Spacecraft Launch List: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Soyuz_missions
NASA Progress Spacecraft Page: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/progress.html
NASA About Progress Spacecraft: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/progress_about.html
Progress Spacecraft: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progress_(spacecraft)
Progress Spacecraft Launch List: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Progress_missions