An unmanned Russian cargo ship parked itself at the International Space Station tonight (July 28), in a second attempt to test an updated space docking system, NASA says.
The robotic Russian Progress 47 spacecraft re-docked to the space station to test the new Kurs-NA docking system. The cargo ship safely approached the station and automatically attached itself to thePirs docking compartment on the Russian segment of the massive orbiting laboratory at 9:01 p.m. EDT (0101 GMT July 29). Russia intends to use the Kurs-NA docking system on future unmanned Progress spacecraft and manned Soyuz vehicles.
The Progress' safe docking followed a failed first attempt four days ago, on July 23, which was aborted after a technical glitch prevented the spacecraft from reaching the orbiting outpost. After that attempt, the Progress 47's onboard computers kept the craft a safe distance away from the station while Russian engineers analyzed the failure.