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Russian Progress International Space Station Cargo Delivery a Success

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A Russian Progress re-supply capsule docked successfully with the International Space Station Thursday evening, concluding a four orbit, six hour launch-to-rendezvous sequence for the delivery of nearly 6,400 pounds of fuel, water, food, spare parts and scientific equipment.

The automated Progress 61 spacecraft, also designated Progress M-29M, latched to the six person orbiting science laboratory's Russian segment Zvezda module at 6:52 p.m., EDT.

The freighter settled into its preliminary orbit, deployed solar arrays and navigation antennas within 10 minutes of lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a three stage Soyuz rocket at 12:49 p.m., EDT, or 10:49 p.m., local time.

The unpiloted delivery marked the second Russian re-supply mission success in the aftermath of the April 28 loss of the Progress 59 cargo mission due to a faulty separation from the Soyuz rocket's third stage and subsequent re-entry of the supply capsule.

The latest cargo vehicle docking comes three days after the departure from the ISS of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's fifth HTV Kounotori re-supply vessel after a five week stay.

The Russian and Japanese missions are expected to keep the ISS on a six person footing as U. S. commercial resupply contractors SpaceX and Orbital ATK rebound from respective Falcon 9 and Antares launch vehicle failures on June 28 and Oct. 28, 2014 in which station cargos were lost.

Orbital has announced plans to resume ISS cargo deliveries in early December using a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., to boost its Cygnus resupply craft. Orbital cargo launches using a modified Antares launch vehicle are to resume from Wallops Island, Va., next year.

 

 

 

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