A Russian Soyuz rocket launches the Progress 69 cargo ship from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Feb. 13, 2018. Progress 69 is carrying three tons of provides to the International Space Station.
Credit: Roscosmos/Space Center Yuzhny
A Russian Soyuz rocket launched an unpiloted cargo ship towards the International Space Station Tuesday (Feb. 13), kicking off a two-day supply mission to the orbiting laboratory.
The Soyuz 2.1a rocket and the cargo ship Progress 69 lifted off at three:13 a.m. EST (0813 GMT) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying about three tons of provides for area station astronauts. The profitable launch got here two days after an unspecified downside triggered an abort in the final minute of an earlier launch try Sunday (Feb. 11).
“Less than 10 minutes after launch, the resupply ship reached preliminary orbit and deployed its photo voltaic arrays and navigational antennas as deliberate,” NASA officers stated in a press release. [How Russia’s Progress Cargo Ships Work (Infographic)]
The Progress 69 cargo ship is now on observe to reach on the International Space Station early Thursday (Feb. 15). The spacecraft is scheduled to dock itself on the aft finish of the station’s Russian-built Zvezda service module at 5:43 a.m. EST (1043 GMT) on Thursday (Feb. 15).
Russia’s Roscosmos area company initially tried to launch Progress 69 on Sunday and try a brand new superfast flight plan that may ship the cargo ship to the area station in simply three.5 hours. But an automatic abort within the final minute of the countdown prevented that launch strive. An analogous abort prevented a earlier cargo ship, Progress 68, from attempting the fast-track flight last October.
In current years, Russia’s Progress vehicles and Soyuz crew capsules have usually taken about 6 hours to succeed in the area station as a result of orbital mechanics of these flights. Earlier within the station’s historical past, Soyuz and Progress flights usually took two days. That two-day flight profile is the one Progress 69 is following for its mission.
Progress 69 is full of meals, science gear and different very important provides for the six-person Expedition 54 crew on the International Space Station. That cargo consists of: three,128 lbs. (1,418 kilograms) of spare components and different provides; 1,940 lbs. (880 kg) of propellant; 53 lbs. (24 kg) of air; and 48 lbs. (21 kg) or oxygen.
NASA will webcast Progress 69’s arrival on the area station on Thursday. You can watch that webcast live here, courtesy of NASA, starting at 5 a.m. EST (1000 GMT).