The Expedition 9 crew aboard the International Space Station prepared this Saturday to receive another shipment of supplies. A Russian Progress cargo craft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:03 a.m. EDT Wednesday and is due to dock to the aft docking port of the Zvezda module at 1:02 a.m. EDT Saturday.
The unmanned Progress M-50, which blasted off from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in the Kazakh steppe Wednesday has docked at the International Space Station, delivering vital supplies to the two astronauts living there.
Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer Mike Fincke prepared for the arrival of the craft by clearing room for the new supplies and setting up video cameras to monitor its arrival. Padalka also trained on the use of the Russian telerobotically operated docking system he would use to manually dock the Progress in the unlikely event the automated system is not available. The crew also worked on several science experiments and routine maintenance of Station systems.
The Progress cargo ships are an essential lifeline to Padalka and Fincke, who have been manning the station since mid-April.
It is planned to weigh the International Space Station (ISS) using the engines of the Progress cargo spacecraft, which docked with the ISS. Determining the precise mass of the ISS will help scientists to employ its potential more efficiently and economically.
Explore further: International Space station to beam video via laser back to Earth