Russia’s 47 Progress supply ship sped toward an April 22 docking with the International Space Station (ISS) following a flawless liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, to initiate a two-day transit.
The Russian freighter and its nearly three tons of propellant, water, compressed air and other supplies was on course to dock with the ISS’s Russian segment Pirs module at 10:40 a.m. EDT.
The three stage Soyuz-U booster and its payload lifted off from Baikonur on April 20 at 8:50 a.m. EST (6:50 p.m. local time). The spacecraft reached orbit, deploying solar arrays and navigational antennas within 10 min. The launch marks the start of a month-long flurry of cargo and crew transport operations at the six-person orbiting science laboratory.
Station commander Dan Burbank and cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin are scheduled to depart the ISS for their return to Earth aboard the 28 Soyuz spacecraft on April 27, ending a 166-day mission.
TheDragon is tentatively set to lift off April 30 from Cape Canaveral on the first U.S. commercial resupply mission to the ISS. If the early phases of the test mission unfold without issue, the Dragon will be captured by astronauts using the station’s robot arm and berthed to the outpost May 3.
Three new crewmembers, cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin andastronaut Joseph Acaba are scheduled to lift off for the ISS from Kazakhstan in the 30 Soyuz spaceraft on May 15. They would dock two days later.
The latest Russian supply capsule replaces the trash-laden 46 Progress, which departed the ISS’s Pirs docking port early April 19, following a three-month stay.
The discarded capsule maneuvered about 2,000 mi. behind the ISS to participate in a series of Russian ground radar-tracking tests. It’s expected to de-orbit into the Pacific Ocean on April 28.