Russian Space Cargo Vehicle Docks with ISS
MOSCOW, February 6 (RIA Novosti) – A Progress-M resupply craft that launched Wednesday evening from the Baikonur cosmodrome has successfully docked with the International Space Station, delivering 2 ½ tons of fuel and other supplies.
The Soyuz-U rocket carrying Progress M-22M blasted off from the Kazakhstan-based center on Wednesday evening and docked with the station six hours later, early Thursday.
The craft has replenished the station's supplies of food, water, air and fuel, as well as delivering flatworms, mosquito larvae and translucent Medaka fish for scientific research.
The fish will continue a joint Russian-Japanese experiment to examine closed ecological systems in space and simultaneously study muscle atrophy and bone loss in zero gravity.
The spacecraft also carried nano-satellite Chasqui I, designed by a Peruvian university, due to be put into orbit in spring.
In addition to supplies for the Russian segment, the Progress M-22M delivered 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of US, European and Japanese cargo under a commercial contract.
Two companies, including Russia's SOGAZ, have insured the vehicle for $43 million in case of an accident.
The launch was the first of over three dozen scheduled for the Russian space program this year.
Another Progress vehicle undocked from the station Monday in order to free up a docking port for the incoming craft and will be guided in a controlled descent to burn up over the Pacific Ocean next week.
Progress freighters have been launched more than 130 times since their debut in 1972 with only one failure. Fifty missions have been destined for the ISS.
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