Science

Russian cargo ship heads to space station

An unmanned Russian space cargo ship blasted off this morning, carrying food and other supplies for the International Space Station.

An unmanned Russian space cargo ship blasted off this morning, carrying food and other supplies for the International Space Station.

The Progress 47 supply ship launched at 8:50 a.m. ET on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazahkstan, NASA confirmed half an hour before liftoff.

The Progress is scheduled to arrive at the space station on April 22. (NASA)
The spaceship is filled with 2.5 tonnes of food, fuel and other supplies. It is scheduled to arrive at the space station on April 22.

This is the third Progress launch since a failed one last August that was later blamed on a manufacturing flaw in the Soyuz rocket. Subsequent launches in October and January were both successful.

Russia has been sending Progress spacecraft up to its own space stations since the 1980s and began sending them to the International Space Station in 2000. However, reliance of the space station on unmanned cargo ships, including Progress, has increased since NASA retired its space shuttle fleet last year.

Corrections

  • Russia began sending Progress spacecraft to its own space stations, not the International Space Station, in the 1980s. The first Progress flight to the ISS didn't take place until 2000.
    Apr 20, 2012 10:13 AM ET

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