Russian Progress cargo ship delivers supplies to space station

A previous Russian Progress cargo craft is shown departing the International Space Station. File Photo courtesy of NASA

April 26 (UPI) — The Russian Progress cargo ship delivered more than 5,000 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station on Saturday, hours after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The unmanned robotic Progress 75 delivered food, propellant and other supplies for three astronauts aboard the orbiting lab at the space station less than 3.5 hours after it launched.

The Progress 75 docked with the orbiting lab when both were flying about 260 miles over northwest China, NASA officials said.

Crew supplies delivered included 2,994 pounds of dry cargo, such as food and equipment. Other supplies included 1,543 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen and 926 pounds of water.

The Progress is one of three high-profile robotic spacecraft with cargo missions to the space station.

Japan’s HTV cargo ship will carry out the next launch on May 20 and will carry a final set of replacement solar array batteries.

Like the Progress, which will burn up in the atmosphere after departing the orbiting lab in December, the Japanese cargo ship is unmanned and disposable.

The Crew Dragon, which NASA and SpaceX plan to launch on May 27, is reusable with parachute-assisted ocean splashdowns and will send NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the orbiting lab. They will join NASA’s Chris Cassidy, and cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner.

The test flight, called Demo-2, will be the first orbital launch of astronauts aboard a rocket from the United States since July 2011.

The goal is for the flight’s success to result in certifying the Crew Dragon for operational missions, which could end NASA’s sole reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft for missions to and from the station.

Elon Musk’s company signed a $2.6 billion deal with the space agency in 2014 for such missions.


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