Russia launched on Wednesday a Progress cargo spaceship on a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), a spokesman for the Russian Mission Control said.
A Soyuz-U carrier rocket carrying the Progress M-04M freighter lifted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 06:45 Moscow time (03:45 GMT) and is expected to dock with the ISS on February 5.
“The launch and the separation of the cargo spaceship from the carrier rocket were successful. The docking of the freighter with the ISS is expected at 07:26 Moscow time [04:26 GMT] on Friday,” the official said.
The digitally controlled Progress craft will deliver over 2.5 tons of food and water supplies, fuel and scientific equipment to the orbital station, which is manned by an international crew comprising 6 astronauts from Russia, the United States and Japan.
Progress-series freighters have been the backbone of the Russian space cargo fleet for decades. In addition to their main mission as cargo spacecraft, they are used to adjust the ISS orbit and conduct scientific experiments.
Russia “buried” its last analog space freighter, the Progress M-67, in the southern Pacific last September.