The Progress M-13M cargo spacecraft will be sunk in a remote area in the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday after deploying a micro-satellite, a spokesman for the Russian Mission Control said.
The space freighter undocked from the Pirs docking module on the International Space Station (ISS) at 02:10 a.m. Moscow time on Tuesday (22:10 on Monday GMT).
After two orbit corrections, the Progress was positioned at about 500 km from the orbital station to deploy the Chibis-M micro-satellite, which carries about 12 kg of equipment to study high-altitude powerful pulses of gamma-and X-ray.
The satellite separated from the Progress spacecraft at 03:19 a.m. Moscow time on Wednesday (23:19 GMT on Tuesday) and will remain in orbit for at least four years studying lightnings and thunderstorms in the Earth's atmosphere.
The Progress M-13M will start its decent to the Earth at 06:27 a.m. Moscow time (02:27 GMT), and is expected to sink in a non-navigational zone in the Pacific Ocean at about 07:18 a.m. Moscow time (03:18 GMT).
The departure of Progress M-13M clears the path for the next Russian resupply vehicle, Progress M-14M, which is scheduled to blast off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on Thursday.
Progress-family freighters have been the backbone of the Russian space cargo fleet for decades.
In addition to their main mission as cargo spacecraft, they are used to adjust the ISS's orbit and conduct scientific experiments.