A shipment of supplies is on its way to the International Space Station. The ISS Progress 21 cargo spacecraft was launched today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The new resupply ship lifted off at 12:03 p.m. EDT (10:03 p.m. Baikonur time). Less than 10 minutes later, the cargo ship reached orbit, and its solar arrays and navigational antennas were deployed for its two-day trip to the orbital outpost.
Two pre-programmed firings of the Progress' main engine are scheduled today to fine-tune the ship's path to the space station. Additional rendezvous maneuvers are planned Tuesday and Wednesday.
When the Progress launched, Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams were flying 219 miles over the Earth off the northeast of Australia. This is their 26th day in space and their 24th day on the complex.
Carrying 2.5 tons of food, water, fuel, oxygen, air, spare parts and other supplies, the new Progress is scheduled to automatically dock to the aft port of the station's Zvezda Service Module at 1:40 p.m. EDT Wednesday. The older ISS Progress 20 supply ship, which arrived at the station just before Christmas, will remain at the Pirs Docking Compartment until mid-June. It will be used to stow trash, and its supply of oxygen will help replenish the station's atmosphere.
Live coverage of the docking of ISS Progress 21 to the space station begins 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday on NASA Television.
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