Progress Cargo Spacecraft On Its Way to ISS

Dec 24, 2004
Progress M50 Docks ISS

An unpiloted Russian cargo ship got a head start on Santa, lifting off Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with 2.5 tons of supplies, equipment and Christmas gifts for Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov on the International Space Station.

The Progress resupply vehicle is an automated, unpiloted version of the Soyuz spacecraft that is used to bring supplies and fuel to the International Space Station. The Progress also has the ability to raise the station's altitude and control the orientation of the station using the vehicle's thrusters.

ISS Progress 16 launched on time at 5:20 p.m. EST. It reached orbit in less than 10 minutes. Moments later, automatic commands deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas.

After a two-day chase, Progress 16 is slated to dock with the aft end of the Station's Zvezda Service Module . Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov will enter the Progress for the first time just after 12 p.m. CST (1800 GMT) Sunday.

Engine firings were scheduled overnight to adjust the Progress’ orbit for an automated docking Dec. 25 at 6:31 p.m. EST to the aft port of the Station’s Zvezda Service Module. The Progress is loaded with 1,234 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen and air, 926 pounds of water and more than 2,700 pounds of spare parts, life support system components and experiment hardware. The manifest also includes 69 containers of food.

Among items on the Progress are new laptop computers, replacement parts for the U.S. spacesuits and additional components to prepare for the arrival next year of the European Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo craft.

The ISS Progress 15 cargo ship, which had been at the Station since Aug. 14, was undocked and commanded to deorbit by Russian flight controllers on Wednesday, clearing the aft port of Zvezda for the new Progress. Filled with trash and discarded items, Progress 15 burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere soon afterward.


Explore further: SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Orbital cargo ship readies for Monday launch

Oct 26, 2014

Orbital Sciences Corporation's unmanned Cygnus cargo ship is preparing to launch to the International Space Station Monday, aiming to carry some 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms) of materials for space experiments.

End dawns for Europe's space cargo delivery role

Jul 27, 2014

Europe will close an important chapter in its space flight history Tuesday, launching the fifth and final robot ship it had pledged for lifeline deliveries to the International Space Station.

New launch date set for ISS delivery vessel

Jul 22, 2014

A robot ship will be launched from Kourou, French Guiana, after a five-day delay on July 29 to deliver provisions to the International Space Station, space transport firm Arianespace said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

15 hours ago

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts ...

Why is Venus so horrible?

22 hours ago

Venus sucks. Seriously, it's the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you ...

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

Dec 19, 2014

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

Dec 19, 2014

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.