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Moscow (Voice of Russia) May 07, 2014
Russian spacecraft performing flights to the International Space Station will be equipped with a new automated approach and docking system starting next year, the manufacturer of the system said Monday, RIA Novosti reports.
"All Kurs systems will be replaced with Kurs-NA equipment in 2015," the Izhevskiy Radiozavod company said in a statement.
The unmanned Progress M-21M resupply vehicle currently docked with the station successfully tested the new system last week.
The cargo ship undocked from the ISS in an automatic mode using the new Kurs-NA system on Wednesday and re-docked Friday. The Kurs-NA system boasts advanced electronics, a fully-digitized control system and increased docking precision compared to its predecessor.
The improved system will be used on all upgraded Progress and manned Soyuz spacecraft in the future. The Kurs-NA was first tested in space in July 2012, but the Progress cargo ship in that test failed to re-dock with the station due to an apparent failure in the system's sensors.
During a second test in November, the Progress M-21M resupply craft was forced to dock in a manual mode due to another failure of the Kurs-NA system.
Source: Voice of Russia
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