Russian cargo ship sends supplies to space

January 30, 2011

An unmanned Russian cargo vessel brought a fresh supply of food, fuel and oxygen Sunday for the six-strong crew of the International Space Station, Russian space official said.

The M-09M Progress vessel's automatic docking was successfully completed at 0238 GMT, the Russian Federal Space Agency said in a statement.

The vessel brought more that 2.6 tonnes of supplies and scientific equipment for the international crew, which is currently home to three Russians, two US and an Italian.

Progress also brought a small artificial satellite called Kedr (Cedar), which two Russians will put into orbit during a February 16 honouring the 50th anniversary of the first human space flight, officials said.

Soviet cosmonaut Yury Gagarin used Kedr as his call sign when he blasted off into space on April 12, 1961.

The 66-pound (30 kilogramme) satellite is designed to transmit greetings to Earth in more than a dozen languages using an amateur radio frequency.

The ISS is orbiting 350 kilometres (220 miles) from Earth, with its first module launched by Russia in 1998.

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