A Russian Soyuz rocket managed a successful launch on Friday, carrying essential food, supplies and equipment to the global Space Station, ending a streak of failures for the space-faring community.
STRINGER/REUTERS The Russian Progress-M spacecraft is transported to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.
Russian television broadcast the launch of the Progress M-28M ship, which departed from the Kazakh steppes in a cloud of white smoke.
Three people now live and work aboard the orbiting lab: NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka. It’s carrying 2.4 tonnes of fuel, oxygen, water, food and other supplies for the crew.
Moscow – An unmanned Russian cargo ship successfully docked with the global Space Station on Sunday following a string of failed attempts to resupply the orbital laboratory.
Among the cargo lost on the latest SpaceX Dragon mission was the first of two Boeing manufactured global Docking Adaptors, cornerstones in NASA’s efforts to establish a commercial crew vehicle docking capability.
The unpiloted spacecraft’s docking mechanism engaged its counterpart in the station’s Earth-facing Pirs compartment at 3:11 a.m. EDT (GMT-4), this was two days after launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The success of the launch will likely come as a relief to the crew both on the ground and on the station as two previous missions have ended in failure.
When the Russian cargo capsule makes its scheduled Sunday arrival at the station, Kelly will no doubt be happy that the terrestrial troubles marring the US-Russia relationship do not extend to outer space.
The Russian Soyuz/Progress 59 mission failed after the cargo vessel separated from the Soyuz booster rockets third stage and spun wildly out of control in April 2015 and eventually crashed weeks later during an uncontrolled plummet back to Earth over the ocean. The mission us returning the Progress to flight following a previous failure that exacerbated the Station’s logistical constraints, further impacted by the recent CRS-7 failure.
If the Progress 60 fails to reach the station, a planned July 22 launch of three more astronauts, including NASA’s Kjell Lindgren, would likely be delayed for a second time.
© Mike Brown / Reuters/REUTERS An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on June 28.
Space Florida earlier agreed to take over the ex- Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center.
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