Russian cargo spacecraft, Progress MS-02 was successfully undocked yesterday from International Space Station after lasting for over 6 months space mission.
Progress has finished its mission lasting since launch on March 31, 2016, during which it delivered over 2400 kg of payload for astronauts and cosmonauts and refueled International Space Station. It also served ISS with its propulsion for correcting course maneuver last time it was performed on September 11, 2016, before originally planned for September 23, 2016 docking of Soyuz MS-02 with members of Expedition 50 (it was finally postponed due the technical problems with Soyuz spacecraft).
Progress due the fact that is not able to perform reentry and land on Earth is rather used as kind of garbage truck. Before its last flight, Progress as usual was filled with trashes, unwanted equipment and everything, what could be burned in atmosphere over Pacific Ocean, where final disintegration of MS-02 was planned after passing atmosphere. Cosmonauts finished packing Progress during last week; last part of the procedure was conducted by Commander Anatoly Ivanishin from Roscosmos, who initialized spacecraft, removed clamps, attached docking mechanism and finally closed both hatches and separated Progress from ISS for good. Visit of the Progress lasting from April 2, 2016, was reaching end.
Maneuver of undocking Progress MS-02 from Zvezda module aft docking port was conducted on Friday, October 14. Whole procedure was conducted by specialists from Mission Control Center in Korolev under Moscow remotely; main phase of undocking started at 09:32 GMT from activation of docking mechanism of Progress. Five minutes later, MCC ordered Progress to release and retract eight hooks inside ring facing to Zvezda docking adapter and let spring mechanism to push away spacecraft from the ISS. Vehicle was released punctually at 09:37 GMT. At 09:40 GMT, when spacecraft reached safe distance of 20 m from ISS, DPO thrusters fueled with UDMH/N2O4 were ignited and Progress started to gradually move away. Next step was starting main engine, S5.80 to reduce speed and make entering atmosphere possible at around 12:50 GMT. Spacecraft reentered into dense layers of atmosphere and burned at around 13:57 GMT.