Russian cargo spacecraft nearing ISS

June 17, 2005

MOSCOW, June 17 (UPI) -- A Russian cargo spacecraft has been launched into orbit successfully and will reach the International Space Station Saturday, Russian space officials said.

The Progress M-53 spacecraft took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Thursday evening, Roskosmos, the Russian space agency, said.The spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the space station at 8:44 p.m.EDT Saturday, Roskosmos said.Valeriy Lyndin, a spokesman for the Russian Mission Control Center, told the Interfax news agency the Progress will deliver about 2.8 tons of food, water and fuel, as well as parcels for the ISS crew: Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and NASA astronaut John Phillips.The spacecraft also will deliver Japanese and Russian equipment to conduct experiments on the space station and 244 pounds of oxygen, Lyndin said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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