Soyuz MS-14

Summary

Soyuz MS-14
Soyuz MS-14 approaches the ISS (first attempt).jpg
The Soyuz MS-14 approaches the ISS (first attempt).
Mission typeTest flight
OperatorRoscosmos
COSPAR ID2019-055A
SATCAT no.44504Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration15d 17h 45m
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeSoyuz-MS 11F747
ManufacturerRKK Energia
Start of mission
Launch date03:38, 22 August 2019 (UTC) (2019-08-22T03:38Z) [1][2]
RocketSoyuz-2.1a
Launch siteBaikonur, Pad 31/6
End of mission
Landing date21:32, 6 September 2019 (UTC) (2019-09-06T21:32Z) [3]
Landing site147 km southeast of Dzheskasgan[4]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Inclination51.6°
Docking with ISS
(First attempt)
Docking portPoisk zenith
Docking dateAborted: 24 August 2019, 05:36 UTC[4]
Docking with ISS
(Second attempt)
Docking portZvezda aft
Docking date27 August 2019, 03:08 UTC[5]·[4]
Undocking date06 September 2019, 18:14 UTC[6]·[4]
Time docked10d 15h 6m
Cargo
Mass660 kg [2]·[7]
Soyuz-MS-14-Mission-Patch.png  

Soyuz MS-14 was a Soyuz spaceflight to the International Space Station.[1] It carried no crew members, as it was intended to test a modification of the launch abort system for integration with the Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle.[8] It launched successfully on 22 August 2019 at 03:38 UTC.[2] It was the first mission of the Soyuz crew vehicle without a crew in 33 years, and the first ever unpiloted mission of Soyuz to the ISS.[9]

Overview

Unlike the traditional Soyuz-FG launcher which is turned on its launchpad to set azimuth of its flight, Soyuz-2 performs a roll maneuver during its flight to change direction. The maneuver would trigger the analog launch abort system designed for Soyuz-FG. Soyuz MS-14 tested a solution for this issue. The 14th flight of Soyuz MS is the 143rd flight of a Soyuz spacecraft. If all goes well, future crewed missions will use the new configuration starting with Soyuz MS-16 in early 2020.[10]

Besides testing the integration of the new launcher and the abort system Soyuz MS-14 is also testing an upgraded navigation and propulsion control system.[11] The results of the testing will be used in the design of Soyuz GVK, an uncrewed cargo delivery and return spacecraft, tentatively scheduled to be launched for the first time in 2022.[11]

Unlike preceding and future Soyuz MS spacecraft, Soyuz MS-14 lacks various crew support systems.

The spacecraft carried cargo to the International Space Station, among other things a humanoid robot Fedor that travelled in the crew compartment of the Soyuz (which was available to use as the mission had no crew). The Fedor robot returned to Earth on 6 September 2019 in the landing crew capsule of Soyuz MS-14 (which was again uncrewed). According to NASA, 1,450 pounds (660 kg) of cargo were delivered to ISS.[9]

The spacecraft delivered the Mini-EUSO telescope to the ISS.[12]

Docking

First attempt

Following a flawless two-day-long free flight and rendezvous with the ISS, MS-14 was scheduled to dock with the station's Poisk module at 05:30 UTC on 24 August 2019. During the final phases of the spacecraft's approach to the ISS, its Kurs rendezvous system failed to lock onto the station and the spacecraft was not able to dock. Expedition 60 commander Aleksey Ovchinin commanded MS-14 to abort its docking, after which the spacecraft backed away to a safe distance from the ISS.[13] Whereas most unmanned Russian spacecraft flying to ISS also feature a TORU backup system enabling cosmonauts to take manual control of the spacecraft from the ISS, this system was not fitted to MS-14.[14] The fault was located on the Kurs signal amplifier on ISS's Poisk docking module, and initial plans called for the cosmonauts to replace this amplifier ahead of a new docking attempt.[15] It was subsequently decided that, on 26 August, the crew of Soyuz MS-13 would relocate their spacecraft from the aft port on the Zvezda module to perform a manual docking at the faulty Poisk port, freeing up a port for MS-14 to dock using Kurs on 27 August 2019.[14]

Second attempt

The MS-14 successfully docked at 03:08 UTC on 27 August 2019.[5]

References

  1. ^ a b "Госкомиссия утвердила программу полета МКС на 2019 год" [Federal commission approved plan of ISS launches in 2019] (in Russian). Roscosmos. 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b c https://www.space.com/russia-launches-humanoid-robot-on-soyuz-spacecraft.html
  3. ^ Soyuz spacecraft, humanoid robot return to Earth after 16-day test flight
  4. ^ a b c d Expedition 60
  5. ^ a b Spacecraft Second Docking Attempt Successful
  6. ^ Live coverage: Soyuz test flight set to conclude today
  7. ^ https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation
  8. ^ ""Роскосмос" испытает систему аварийного спасения до перехода на "Союз-2"" [Roscosmos will test launch abort system before switching to Soyuz-2] (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 13 October 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  9. ^ a b http://russianspaceweb.com/soyuz-ms-14.html
  10. ^ "Определены сроки запусков с Байконура к МКС, сообщил источник" [Launch dates to ISS from Baikonur are defined, per source] (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 22 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  11. ^ a b "РКК «Энергия»: старт беспилотного «Союза МС» планируется в августе 2019 года" [RKK Energia: launch of unmanned Soyuz MS is planned for August 2019] (in Russian). RKK Energia. 18 May 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  12. ^ http://jem-euso.roma2.infn.it/?page_id=818
  13. ^ Tariq, Malik (24 August 2019). "Russian Soyuz Spacecraft Carrying Humanoid Robot Aborts Docking at Space Station". Space.com.
  14. ^ a b Clark, Stephen (24 August 2019). "Station crew to clear new port for second Soyuz docking attempt – Spaceflight Now".
  15. ^ "Russian Spacecraft Docking Attempt No Earlier Than Monday – Space Station". blogs.nasa.gov. 24 August 2019.