Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Russia to launch supply craft to Space Station

The Russian Space Agency will launch a Soyuz rocket tonight with a cargo craft filled with fresh supplies and equipment bound for the International Space Station.

Launch of a Soyuz U rocket with the Progress M-03M resupply craft is targeted for tonight at 9:14 pm EDT (01:14 GMT) from Launch Complex 17P32's Pad 1. The launch window is five minutes.

The Soyuz U (above) was rolled out to it's launch pad at the Bakinour launch site yesterday.

"The Progress is carrying 1,918 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen and air, 926 pounds of water and 1,750 pounds of spare parts and supplies for the Expedition 21 crew," according to the Johnson Space Center.

The three stage, 168-foot Soyuz U will liftoff with the thrust from four RD-117 min engines and several smaller thrusters to control pitch and steady it's climb to orbit.

The 35th Progress cargo craft will spend nearly two days catching up with the space station prior to docking to the Russian Pirs Docking port on Saturday evening at 9:41 pm EDT.

Expedition 21 Commander Frank De Winne and Flight Engineers Bob Thirsk, Roman Romanenko, Jeff Williams, Nicole Stott and Max Suraev are the current six person crew aboard the station and will monitor the craft's automatic docking.

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