Progress MS-03 heads to the ISS

After the successful first flight of the Soyuz MS series spacecraft, Progress’ third MS-series spacecraft has followed it uphill.  Soyuz and Progress share a considerable amount of engineering, so Progress is often used as the testbed for what will go into the crewed Soyuz, allowing them to test new technologies unmanned without wasting a spacecraft.  As such, the launch sequence is nearly identical — the only visible difference is the lack of an escape tower and grid fins on the spacecraft, which will never undergo an in-flight abort; it would be abandoned to its fate instead.


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