Friday, September 10, 2010

Russia Launches Cargo Craft to Space Station

A Russian Soyuz rocket lifts-off today from Kazakhstan.

The Russian Space Agency today launched an unmanned cargo craft into low earth orbit, beginning a three day chase to catch up with and dock with the International Space Station.

Loaded with 2.5 tonnes of supplies and fuel, the Progress M-07M supply ship lifted off aboard a Soyuz-U rocket at 6:22:57 am EDT (10:22 GMT) from launch pad 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the desert of western Kazakhstan.

Docking to the Russian Zvezda service modules aft section of the station is planned for Sunday at 7:58 am (11:58 GMT).

Today's successful launch was delayed two days due to high winds in excess of 32 mph in the launch area.

This newest supply trip is carrying 1,918 pounds of propellant; 110 pounds of oxygen, 375 pounds of water; and 2,645 pounds of spare parts, experiment parts and other supplies, according to NASA's Mission Control Center.

Hours after docking, the space station's crew of six --
Commander Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineers Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Mikhail Kornienko, Doug Wheelock, Shannon Walker and Fyodor Yurchikhin -- will open the hatches between the Progress and Zvezda and begin unloading their new found bounty of life supporting treasures.

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