Progress Launches to Resupply Space Station

Image credit: Energia

An unmanned Russian Progress 11 cargo ship lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Sunday, carrying more than two tonnes of food, fuel, water, supplies, and scientific equipment for the International Space Station. The Progress launched at 1043 GMT (6:34am EDT) and then reached orbit nine minutes later. It’s expected to reach the space station on Wednesday, where it will link up automatically with the Pirs Docking Compartment on the Zvezda Service Module.

An unmanned Russian resupply craft successfully blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan today, carrying more than two tons of food, fuel, water, supplies and scientific gear for the Expedition 7 crew aboard the International Space Station.

The Progress 11 vehicle lifted off on time from its Central Asia launch pad at 5:34 a.m. Central time (1034 GMT, 2:34 p.m. Baikonur time). Less than nine minutes later the Progress settled into orbit, and moments later, its solar arrays and navigational antennas had been deployed. At the time of the Progress launch, Expedition 7 Commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA ISS Science Officer Ed Lu were flying near the Equator off the west coast of Africa at an altitude of 240 statute miles.

After three days of pre-programmed engines firings to reach the ISS, the Progress will link up automatically to the Pirs Docking Compartment on the Station?s Zvezda Service Module on Wednesday at 6:17 a.m. Central time (1117 GMT). Within a few hours, Malenchenko and Lu will open the hatch to the ship and begin to unload its cargo.

Stowed in the Progress are replacement parts for environmental systems in both the U.S. and Russian segments of the Station, office supplies, two tanks of potable water, and some clothing items for the two crewmembers. Also aboard the Progress are two experiment kits for European Space Agency cosmonaut Pedro Duque, who will launch in October on the Soyuz TMA-3 vehicle with the Expedition 8 crew for about a week?s worth of scientific research on the ISS under a contract between ESA and the Russian Aviation and Space Agency. Duque will return to Earth with Malenchenko and Lu in the Soyuz TMA-2 vehicle currently docked to the Station.

Original Source: NASA News Release