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Progress MS-01



The Russian Progress is an uncrewed cargo resupply spacecraft that is largely based on the manned Soyuz. It is used to resupply Space Stations and was used for the Russian Salyut and Mir Space Stations as well as the International Space Station that receives three or four Progress flights a year.

Progress MS represents the latest generation of Progress spacecraft introduced in late 2015 in an upgrade from the Progress M-M spacecraft that was inaugurated back in November 2008, succeeding the Progress M configuration flown since 1989. This latest update in the line of Progress spacecraft, also to be introduced on the crewed Soyuz craft, is largely focused on communications and navigation systems that are upgraded using modern electronics. Progress MS introduces a new KURS navigation system, a new radio, the use of GPS/Glonass for navigation, and the use of a proximity communications link for relative navigation. These changes will not significantly change the external appearance of the Progress except for the number of deployable antennas present on the spacecraft and the introduction of external cargo carriers for CubeSat deployments.

Progress is capable of carrying pressurized cargo in its pressurized cargo carrier and also deliver propellants, water and pressurized gases to the Space Station. The first progress flew in 1978 to the Russian Salyut 6 Space Station. Since then, Progress was upgraded multiple times, going through a number of generations with its most recent generation flying under the designation of Progress MS.

Progress MS has been designed to launch atop the upgraded Soyuz 2-1A rocket that will allow the craft to carry a greater cargo upmass to the Space Station. The spacecraft is still compatible with the Soyuz U rocket that is being phased out in a soft transition to the newer version, alternating flights between the two to iron out any problems with no significant interruption of the supply chain to ISS. Progress spacecraft can dock to any port on the Russian Segment of the International Space Station, but usually use the Pirs docking compartment and the aft docking port on the Zvezda Service Module.

Once docked and secured in place, the hatch to the pressurized cargo carrier can be opened by the crew to unload the cargo. Because it is manned in orbit (crew members can enter the spacecraft), Progress is classified as a manned spacecraft, although it launches without a crew.

During its stay at the Space Station, all cargo is transferred to ISS. This includes dry cargo that is transferred by the crew, water that is also transferred internally, oxygen and nitrogen gas that is released to repressurize the station’s atmosphere, and propellant which is transferred via a dedicated transfer system being fed to tanks on the Russian Segment.

Afterwards, Progress is loaded with trash and no-longer-needed items before the hatch is closed and the spacecraft undocks. Progress does not have a heat shield and makes a targeted, destructive re-entry to end its mission.

Alternate Names

  • 41177
  • ProgressMS01

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2015-12-21
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-2.1a
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), Kazakhstan

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (Russia)


  • Resupply/Refurbishment/Repair

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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