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Watch live Monday: Russian cargo craft departs space station to dispose of old module

Russia's Progress 77 cargo spacecraft is scheduled to undock from the International Space Station this weekend, carrying with it the decommissioned Pirs docking component. 

The undocking, now scheduled for Monday (July 26), has been delayed three times, first from Friday (July 23) to Saturday (July 24), then again to Sunday (July 25). Mission controllers in Houston informed the space station crew about the latest delay on Saturday afternoon via radio transmission, but NASA and Russia's space agency Roscosmos have not yet publicly announced a new time or date for the undocking. 

When the undocking happens, and if it webcast live, you'll be able to watch it live in the window above, courtesy of NASA TV, or directly via the agency's website

Related: Cosmonauts decommission old space station docking module in 7-hour spacewalk

Russia's ISS Progress 77 cargo craft is pictured docked to the Pirs docking compartment on the International Space Station's Russian segment, on June 2, 2021. The Progress vehicle will remove Pirs from the Zarya service module's Earth-facing port in July 2021, opening up the port for Russia's new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module due to arrive shortly afterward. (Image credit: NASA)

From NASA:

A delay in the undocking events scheduled for tomorrow gave the crew of Expedition 65 aboard the International Space Station extra time to focus on training, science, and maintenance today.

Russia’s Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) launched on July 21, and to provide more time for Russian flight controllers to check out MLM’s status, the undocking of the Russian Progress 77 and Pirs docking compartment has been postponed until Saturday, July 24. The space station crew has been notified. Progress 77 undocking with the Pirs docking compartment is now scheduled for 8:28 am EDT. Live coverage on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app will begin at 8 am.

On Thursday, June 29, MLM is scheduled to dock at the station. Named Nauka, after the Russian word for “science,” MLM will serve as a new science facility, docking port, and spacewalk airlock for future operations.

Once Pirs and Progress 77 are decoupled from the station on Saturday, they will undergo a de-orbit maneuver that will send it towards Earth to disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere. In preparation, Russian Cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy performed a series of maintenance tasks today.

The crew also prepared for another upcoming event: the scheduled arrival of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner at the space station on July 31 as part of  NASA’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission. NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Shane Kimbrough along with station Commander Akihiko Hoshide, a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut, received training on procedures relating to the approach, docking, and undocking of Starliner.


Watch live Tuesday: Boeing Starliner OFT-2 prelaunch news conference 

Boeing's Starliner astronaut taxi is scheduled to attempt its second uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station on July 30. 

The mission, called Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT-2), will lift off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, on Friday (July 30) at 2:53 p.m. EDT (1853 GMT). 

NASA and Boeing officials completed a flight readiness review on Thursday (July 22) for the upcoming test flight, and they declared the mission "go" for launch.  

A prelaunch news conference is scheduled for Tuesday (July 27) at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT), and you can watch it live in the window above, courtesy of NASA TV. 

Related: How to watch Boeing launch its 2nd Starliner test flight on July 30

From NASA:

NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch, launch, and docking activities for the agency’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission to the International Space Station. Scheduled to launch at 2:53 p.m. EDT Friday, July 30, OFT-2 is the second uncrewed flight for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

Starliner will launch on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. About 31 minutes after launch, Starliner will reach its preliminary orbit. It is scheduled to dock to the space station at 3:06 p.m. Saturday, July 31. Prelaunch activities, launch, and docking will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

The spacecraft will carry more than 400 pounds of NASA cargo and crew supplies to the space station and return to Earth with more than 550 pounds of cargo, including reusable Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) tanks that provide breathable air to station crew members.

OFT-2 will demonstrate the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner spacecraft and Atlas V rocket from launch to docking to a return to Earth in the desert of the western United States. The uncrewed mission will provide valuable data toward NASA certifying Boeing’s crew transportation system for regular flights with astronauts to and from the space station.

The deadline has passed for media accreditation for in-person coverage of this launch. More information about media accreditation is available by emailing: ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov.

NASA has updated its coronavirus (COVID-19) policies to remain consistent with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. Credentialed media will receive additional details from the media operations team at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA’s Boeing OFT-2 mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):

Thursday, July 22

6 p.m. - Flight Readiness Review (FRR) Media Teleconference at Kennedy (or no earlier than one hour after completion of the FRR), with the following participants:

  • Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA
  • Norm Knight, director, Flight Operations Directorate
  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • John Vollmer, vice president and program manager, Boeing Commercial Crew Program 

Tuesday, July 27

TBD – Prelaunch News Conference on NASA TV (or no earlier than one hour after completion of the Launch Readiness Review):

  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Jennifer Buchli, deputy chief scientist, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • John Vollmer, vice president and program manager, Boeing Commercial Crew Program 
  • Gary Wentz, vice president, Government and Commercial Programs, ULA
  • Will Ulrich, launch weather officer, U.S. Space Force, 45th Weather Squadron

Thursday, July 29

10:30 a.m. – NASA Administrator Media and Social Briefing on NASA TV, with the following participants:

  • NASA Administrator Bill Nelson
  • NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy
  • Janet Petro, director, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
  • Chris Ferguson, director, Starliner Mission Operations and Integration/Crew Systems
  • Barry “Butch” Wilmore, NASA astronaut, Crew Flight Test
  • E. Michael “Mike” Fincke, NASA astronaut, Crew Flight Test
  • Nicole Mann, NASA astronaut, Crew Flight Test
  • Jennifer Buchli, deputy chief scientist, NASA’s International Space Station Program

Friday, July 30

2 p.m. – NASA TV launch coverage begins. NASA TV will have continuous coverage through Starliner orbital insertion.

4 p.m. (approximately) – Postlaunch news conference on NASA TV:

  • TBD, NASA Representatives
  • TBD, Boeing Representative
  • TBD, United Launch Alliance Representative

Saturday, July 31

12 p.m. – NASA TV rendezvous and docking coverage begins

3:06 p.m. (approximately) – Docking

Sunday, Aug. 1

9:15 a.m. – NASA TV hatch opening and welcoming remarks coverage begins

9:35 a.m. (approximately) – Hatch opening and welcoming remarks about 10:35 a.m.

NASA TV Launch Coverage

NASA TV live coverage will begin at 2 p.m. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules, and links to streaming video, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv


'ISS Live!' Tune in to the space station

Find out what the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station are up to by tuning in to the "ISS Live" broadcast. Hear conversations between the crew and mission controllers on Earth and watch them work inside the U.S. segment of the orbiting laboratory. When the crew is off duty, you can enjoy live views of Earth from Space. You can watch and listen in the window below, courtesy of NASA.

From NASA:

"Live video from the International Space Station includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control. This video is only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During 'loss of signal' periods, viewers will see a blue screen.

"Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below." 

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Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Kim Hickock as our Reference Editor and Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor. 


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  • The Exoplanets Channel
    It will be exciting!
    Reply
  • rod
    The Exoplanets Channel said:
    It will be exciting!

    It could also be more issues for stargazing too :)
    Reply
  • Postman1
    rod said:
    It could also be more issues for stargazing too :)
    All the more reason to build telescopes on the far side of the Moon.
    Reply
  • whatdoctor
    I have been watching space launches since 1969 and I still find them exciting.
    Reply
  • Moondaya
    for sure

    Each progress about space was and will be exciting! I wish to see days when base set up on the moon.
    Reply
  • jimmiy
    Reply
  • Castacon79
    New here so I can get the world to see if they can do something
    Reply
  • Erik
    rod said:
    It could also be more issues for stargazing too :)
    adapt, exceed....or die... When/if teleportation appears will anyone have any concern for travel agents, common carriers or taxi/uber drivers?
    Reply
  • Dan41273
    I don't want to burst any bubbles, but the water is from earth shedding the vapor into space, and some of it collects on the moon, and throughout space......
    Reply
  • Hughjer
    Annnnnd... aborted again. Maybe tomorrow folks.
    Reply