The first unmanned spacecraft is gearing up to reach International Space Station (ISS) in August 2019. Energia Rocket and Space Corporation of Russia is the developer of the Soyuz MS spacecraft. All of the previous Soyuz spacecraft were manned and they were sent to deliver crews of new expeditions to the sole orbiter of the world and that makes this attempt a highly anticipated one.
According to the press release of Energia, the launching of the Soyuz MS resupply ship on a Soyuz-2.1 carrier rocket is slated to take place in early August 2019. Since the space flight will take place in an unmanned condition, it will lead to raising of the payload by significant amounts as there will be the absence of some major equipment and devices that are needed for carrying out the work of the crew smoothly. The present stage of Soyuz MS space vehicle is that it is assembling some of its major and minor components.
Yevgeny Mikrin, the chief designer at Energia, stated that unmanned Soyuz MS is nothing like a modified version of manned space vehicles. The version in question differs from regular spacecraft by the presence of modernized navigation systems and an advanced motion control along with several other necessary alterations to the onboard systems. The main job on the part of Energia team is to test out the systems that have been put in place. They will also place emphasis on the analysis of the integration of Soyuz MS with carrier rocket named Soyuz-2.1a.
Energia is expected to bring in several revolutionary developments in space vehicles based on the success of this unmanned mission to International Space Station. The navigation systems and the test results of the flight brought on by the advanced motion control can be utilized to manufacture a new cargo retrievable spacecraft. The makers have named this spacecraft Soyuz GVK and Energia Rocket and Space Corporation is also working on developing this space vehicle along the lines of Soyuz MS.
Soyuz GVK is expected to have the best features of Soyuz MS and some of the more advanced features of its own. It will contain significant improvements on the onboard systems and the nose fairing will also be different. This resupply space vehicle is expected to deliver two tons of cargo into the orbit and bring back 500 kg to our planet.