left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Russia launches cargo spaceship to resupply ISS

Updated: 2013-02-12 03:13
( Xinhua)

MOSCOW - Russian cargo spaceship Progress M- 18M blasted off for the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on Monday, the federal space agency Roscosmos said.

Live webcast showed that the Soyuz-U rocket carrying the Progress freighter was launched at 6:41 p.m. Moscow time (1441 GMT) .

"The third stage of the carrier rocket Soyuz-U has separated from the spacecraft," Roscosmos said on its website.

The unmanned resupplying vehicle is scheduled to dock with the ISS at 12:40 a.m. Moscow time Tuesday (2040 GMT Monday).

The Progress spaceship carries over 2,500 kg of consignment, including fuel, food, water, oxygen and various scientific and sporting equipment for the ISS crew. It also delivers Russian flags to the orbit. The ship will dock to Russia's Pirs section.

The current ISS crew comprises three Russians, two Americans and one Canadian.

The cargo spacecraft is traveling along the fast-track trajectory, which takes only six hours to reach the ISS. For that, the Mission Control will conduct four correcting maneuvers. The final approach is scheduled for 10:15 p.m. Moscow time (1815 GMT).

This is only the third time that the Mission Control uses the fast-track docking instead of traditional two-day travels. The Russians also plan to use the "fast" scheme for manned flights for the first time in March, when the Soyuz TMA-08M will be launched.

On January 17, the ISS orbit was adjusted in preparation for the docking with the cargo ship, using the engines of the Progress M- 17M, which is currently docked at the ISS Zvezda module.