Russian space cargo rocket successfully docks at ISS
A Russian space cargo rocket successfully docked at the International Space Station (ISS) Sunday, the flight control centre near Moscow said, two days after its first attempt missed by three kilometres, dpa reported.
The Progress 38's Friday attempt to dock was called off after it veered out of control. Space engineers later said that TV signals from the ISS disrupted the unmanned rocket's autopilot, causing it to fly past the space station.
But this time the autopilot experienced no problems, the flight control centre said.
The Russian rocket is carrying 2.5 tons of food, clothing and equipment for the ISS crew, currently made up of three Russian cosmonauts and three US astronauts.
The crew had never been in any danger from the malfunctioning rocket, space officials were quick to emphasize.
On its second attempt, the ISS' TORU TV system was turned off, to avoid a repeat of Friday's miss.
The system had been intended to give station Commander Alexander Skvorstov a real-time view of the dock, but on Friday had instead overriden the automated docking system.
It had then been too late for the crew to take control of the rocket and guide it to the docking station manually.
When NASA's space shuttle programme retires early next year, Progress and Soyuz, which transports astronauts, will be the only transport to and from the space station.