Cargo Ship Launches to the Station

Although Atlantis is getting ready for its trip back to the International Space Station, it won’t be the only visitor. An unmanned Progress cargo ship blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan today, bringing fresh supplies to the International Space Station. The Americans call it Progress 28, while the Russians have designated it M-63.

Let’s pick a designation and call it Progress M-63. The spacecraft lifted off at 4:03 p.m. local time, carrying a load of oxygen, water and food for the crew: US astronauts Peggy Whitson and Daniel Tani and Russian cosmonaut Yiri Malenchenko. It’s also carrying scientific equipment and experiments.

To make room for the inbound cargo ship, the previous Progress M-62 undocked from the station on Monday. It had been docked to the station since December 26, 2007. It will now spend the next few weeks performing a series of autonomous tests.

And in late February, another cargo ship, M-60 will be discarded into the Pacific Ocean, 3,000 km from New Zealand.

Original Source: NASA News Release

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