Progress 47 approaches the ISS. Credit: NASA.

The unpiloted Russian ISS Progress 47 cargo ship, loaded with trash and supplies no longer needed by the Expedition 32 crew, undocked from the International Space Station for the final time July 30 and maneuvered to a safe distance from the complex for several weeks of engineering tests. The Progress separated from the Pirs Docking Compartment two days after redocking to that port to test an upgraded automated rendezvous system. The Progress initially undocked from the station July 22. An initial attempt to redock the following day was unsuccessful due to the effect of low temperatures in the system that Russian engineers solved to enable the redocking to occur on July 28. The Progress will be deorbited in late August to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.