Progress M-46 maneuvers

From: David Anderman (
Date: Thu Jan 30 2003 - 15:15:56 EST

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    >According to Russian accounts, Progress M-46 conducted some interesting 
    >maneuvers last year, prior to docking with ISS. It would be interesting to 
    >see if anyone here noticed the rather unusual movements of this spacecraft 
    >in the hours prior to docking.
    On the day before docking, Progress M-46 closed within several kilometers 
    of ISS and performed some tests of its rendezvous system while station 
    keeping (about 395 X 395 kms altitude). Then, a couple of hours prior to 
    docking, Progress M-46 dropped its perigee by about 35 kms, and then 
    performed a standard rendezvous after that point. From the perspective of a 
    ground based observer expecting to see ISS and an object closely trailing 
    it 2 hours before rendezvous, Progress M-46 would have vanished.
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