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Progress-M 1M - 29M (11F615A60, 7KTGM)

Progress-M 4M [NASA]

The modified Progress-M is a uncrewed cargo spacecraft based on the Progress-M. In the new version, the Argon-16 computer (introduced on Soyuz-T back in the 1970s) is replaced by the new TsVM-101 computer. The latter is a much more capable computer, is almost 10 times lighter (8.3 kg vs. 70 kg) and much smaller. The analogue telemetry system is also replaced by a smaller digital telemetry system called MBITS.

An automated version of Soyuz, known as Progress, was developed to carry propellant and cargo to the Salyut and Mir space stations and it will serve the same purpose for the International Space Station (ISS). Although the Mir and ISS have their own propulsion systems, generally it is the Progress vehicle which will perform periodic reboosting maneuvers to maintain the Space Station orbital altitude. The Progress is approximately the same size as the Soyuz but it has a slightly higher mass at launch of approximately 7150 kg. The Progress spacecraft docks automatically to the space station and there is also a backup remote control docking system. The Progress is composed of three modules: Cargo Module, Refueling Module, and Instrument-Service Module.

The Progress cargo module is similar in construction to the Soyuz orbital module. The cargo module carries pressurized cargo which the crew transfers into the station through the docking hatch. After the cargo module is unloaded, trash, unwanted equipment, and waste water can be loaded into the Progress for disposal when the spacecraft leaves the Station.

In place of the Soyuz descent module, the Progress has a module containing propellant tanks. The Progress is able to transfer propellant into the space station propulsion system through fluid connectors in the docking ring. The propellant in the refueling module can also be used by the thrusters on the Progress vehicle for controlling and re-boosting the Station. The Progress M has four propellant tanks (two each for fuel and oxidizer) and two water tanks. The Progress M1 will have eight propellant tanks and no water tanks. In the Progress M1, water will be delivered in separate containers carried in the cargo module.

The Progress instrument-service module is similar to the module on Soyuz but the pressurized instrument section is twice as long and contains additional avionics equipment. The larger instrument section carries avionics which would be contained in the descent module in the case of the Soyuz.

A typical Progress mission is similar to a Soyuz mission. The spacecraft is launched by the same launch vehicle inside a similar shroud, however there is no launch escape rocket on the shroud since the spacecraft carries no crew. The Progress spends about two days performing the rendezvous process and docks automatically to the Space Station.

Propellant is transferred to the Station tanks through connecting lines in the docking ring The crew unloads cargo from the cargo module and can transfer water manually from the Progress to the Station. When the Progress delivers air or oxygen, it is released directly into the shared atmosphere of the Space Station and Progress vehicle. There are controls in the cargo module for releasing air or oxygen and for transferring water.

While the Progress is docked to the Station it uses its propellant and thrusters to perform Station reboost maneuvers. Trash is loaded into the cargo module when the Progress has completed its mission and is ready to leave the Station. Progress vehicles normally remain at the Station for two to three months.

After separation, the Progress spacecraft performs a deorbit maneuver and is destroyed as it enters the atmosphere. Sometimes a small ballistic capsule is placed within the top hatch of the cargo module and it is ejected during entry. The capsule is equipped with a heatshield and parachute and is used to return small amounts of payload from the Station.

The Progress payload includes cargo in the pressurized cargo module and propellant in the refueling module. There will usually be some excess propellant in the propulsion system tanks in the ISM which can also be used by the Station.

The Progress M carries following cargo to a total amount of 2350 kg

  • Maximum Pressurized Cargo: 1800 kg
  • Cargo Volume 6.6 m3
  • Maximum Water 420 kg
  • Maximum Air or Oxygen: 50 kg
  • Maximum Refueling Module Propellant: 850 kg
  • ISM Propellant Surplus available to Station: 250 kg
  • Trash Disposal in Cargo Module: up to 1600 kg
  • Waste Water 400 kg

The relative amounts of pressurized cargo, refueling propellant, air, and water will vary within the constraints of the total payload limit. For example, if the maximum amount of propellant is carried then the amount of pressurized cargo will be less than the maximum amount.


The Progress-M 12M was lost due to a launch vehicle problem and did not reach orbit.

Progress-M 27M was delivered to orbit, but upper stage did not shut down correctly (possibly due to explosion onboard) and damaged the craft during separation. 1.5 seconds before spacecraft separation the telemetry was lost from both upper stage and spacecraft. Progress went into a strong tumble after separation from the launch vehicle. Some telemetry from spacecraft was received through the back-up channel, indicating that many spacecraft systems function off-nominally. Pressure was lost in fuel lines leading to main engine. JSpOC has detected 44 pieces of debris in the vicinity of the Progress vehicle and its upper stage. Attempts to establish contact and to stabilize the vehicle failed. The mission was lost.

Nation: Russia
Type / Application: Cargo
Operator: RKK → RAKA
Propulsion: KTDU-80 (S5.80)
Power: 2 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries
Mass: 7250 kg
Orbit: 400 km × 400 km, 51.6 (typical)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Progress-M 01M (№401) 2008-060A 26.11.2008 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 02M (№402) 2009-024A 07.05.2009 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 03M (№403) 2009-056A 15.10.2009 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 04M (№404) 2010-003A 03.02.2010 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 05M (№405) 2010-018A 28.04.2010 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 06M (№406) 2010-033A 30.06.2010 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 07M (№407) 2010-044A 10.09.2010 Ba LC-31/6 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 08M (№408) 2010-055A 27.10.2010 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 09M (№409) 2011-004A 28.01.2011 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U with ARISSat 1 (RadioSkaf 2, Kedr)
Progress-M 10M (№410) 2011-017A 27.04.2011 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 11M (№411) 2011-027A 21.06.2011 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 12M (№412) 2011-F03 24.08.2011 Ba LC-1/5 F Soyuz-U
Progress-M 13M (№413) 2011-062A 30.10.2011 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U with Chibis-M
Progress-M 14M (№414) 2012-004A 25.01.2012 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 15M (№415) 2012-015A 20.04.2012 Ba LC-31/6 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 16M (№416) 2012-042A 01.08.2012 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U with Sfera-53
Progress-M 17M (№417) 2012-060A 31.10.2012 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 18M (№418) 2013-007A 11.02.2013 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 19M (№419) 2013-017A 24.04.2013 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 20M (№420) 2013-039A 27.07.2013 Ba LC-31/6 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 21M (№421) 2013-069A 25.11.2013 Ba LC-31/6 Soyuz-U with UrtheCast 1
Progress-M 22M (№422) 2014-005A 05.02.2014 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U with Chasqui 1
Progress-M 23M (№427) 2014-018A 09.04.2014 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 24M (№423) 2014-042A 23.07.2014 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 25M (№424) 2014-067A 29.10.2014 Ba LC-31/6 Soyuz-2-1a
Progress-M 26M (№425) 2015-008A 17.02.2015 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 27M (№426) 2015-024A 28.04.2015 Ba LC-31/6 f Soyuz-2-1a
Progress-M 28M (№428) 2015-031A 03.07.2015 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 29M (№429) 2015-055A 01.10.2015 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U
Progress-M 30M (№430) - cancelled


  • NASA website

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