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Russian space freighter set to dock with orbital station

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, May 1 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian space cargo ship is expected to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) late on Saturday delivering fresh supplies to the current crew, Russia's Mission Control said.

The Progress M-05M freighter lifted off on a Soyuz-U rocket from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on Wednesday carrying over 2.5 tons of supplies, including equipment, parcels from home, chocolate, candy, new video films and books.

"The docking is expected to be carried out in an automated regime, but the astronauts could switch to manual guidance if necessary," a Mission Control official told RIA Novosti.

The current ISS crew comprises Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov, Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko, U.S. astronauts Tracy Caldwell Dyson and T.J. Creamer, and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi.

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 - as opposed to digitally controlled - space freighter, the Progress M-67, in the Pacific in September.

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