Russia launches fresh Progress cargo ship to International Space Station – Space.com

A brand new Russian Progress cargo ship launched into orbit Sunday night time (Feb. 14) to ship cargo to the seven crew members on the Worldwide Area Station. 

Russia’s area company Roscosmos launched the Progress MS-16 cargo ship, additionally referred to as Progress 77, on a Soyuz rocket from Website 31 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:45 p.m. EST (0445 GMT on Feb. 15, 10:45:06 a.m. Baikonur time). It is going to arrive on the station on Tuesday.

Progress 77 is carrying roughly 5,424 lbs. (2,460 kg) of cargo and provides for the crew at present on board the station. That features 3,086 lbs.(1,400 kg) of analysis and crew provides (like meals and clothes), together with a provide of contemporary water, nitrogen gasoline and propellant for the station’s Zvezda service module propulsion system.

Video: Watch Russia’s Progress 77 cargo ship blast off
How Russia’s Progress Cargo Ships Work (Infographic)

A Russian Soyuz rocket launches the uncrewed Progress 77 cargo ship towards the Worldwide Area Station from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on Feb. 15, 2021 native time (Feb. 14 EST).  (Picture credit score: NASA TV)

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Tucked contained in the payload fairing of its Soyuz 2.1a launcher, the Progress MS-16 spacecraft rolled to the launch pad on Friday (Feb. 12), forward of its deliberate Sunday launch. This fashion floor crews may end their ultimate flight preparations.

The Soyuz is a 152-foot-tall (46-meters) three-stage launch car. It was anticipated to move on a northeasterly trajectory after launch, jettisoning its 4 strap-on boosters roughly two minutes after liftoff. The rocket’s second stage, (additionally referred to as the core stage) is powered by one RD-108A engine designed to proceed firing for about three extra minutes earlier than handing the reins over to the rocket’s third stage — an RD-0110 engine. 

As soon as the rocket reached a sure altitude, the fairings fell away to reveal the Progress MS-16 spacecraft, which separated from the booster’s higher stage 9 minutes into the flight to make its technique to the area station.

After separation, the Progress spacecraft ought to unfurl its photo voltaic arrays and navigation antennas. It is going to then align itself with the area station and put together for docking with the Russian-built Pirs module Tuesday (Feb. 16) at 1:20 a.m. EST (0620 GMT).

The Pirs module is a docking port on the Zvezda service module that doubles as an airlock for station crewmembers to make use of when conducting Russian-led spacewalks. Pirs is scheduled to be eliminated when the Progress 77 spacecraft ends its mission in July. 

As an alternative, Roscosmos will carry up a long-awaited new addition: the Nauka laboratory. This may mark the most important addition to the Russian section of the area station because the Zvezda module was put in in 2000. (There may be one other, related port to Pirs, referred to as Poisk, that can stay on station.)

Associated: The International Space Station is now home to the world’s 1st commercial airlock

A sliver of the Earth could be seen within the high proper on this digicam view from Progress 77 captured shortly after launch. One if its photo voltaic arrays is seen at left after unfolding. (Picture credit score: NASA TV)

The Progress spacecraft is an uncrewed freighter that appears similar to its crew-toting counterpart, the Soyuz spacecraft, which is used to ferry astronauts to and from the area station. The primary distinction is that Progress is used to fly cargo and can also be designed to fritter away because it re-enters Earth’s ambiance, whereas Soyuz will land again on land. 

As a result of Progress automobiles are disposable, they’re usually loaded with trash and different gadgets to be discarded earlier than setting off on a course to fritter away within the Earth’s ambiance, usually over a distant area of the Pacific Ocean. 

Progress 77 is the primary of two deliberate cargo deliveries to the area station inside every week. On Saturday (Feb. 20), a U.S.-built Cygnus spacecraft is slated to launch from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia by itself two-day journey to the area station. 

Observe Amy Thompson on Twitter @astrogingersnap. Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Fb.  

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