Russia launches cargo ship to ISS
9 April 2014, 21:34 -- Russia successfully launched an unmanned cargo ship to the International Space Station on Wednesday evening after a spaceship carrying three astronauts experienced a technical glitch last month. 'At 19:35 Moscow time (15:35 GMT), the cargo ship separated from the third-stage booster rockets on schedule,' the Russian space agency said in a statement on its website after the Progress M-23M ship blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The ship carrying 2.5 tonnes of supplies including oxygen, containers of food and water and parcels for the crew is due to dock with the ISS at 01:16 am Thursday (21:16 GMT Wednesday).
The spaceship is following a fast-track route to the international space laboratory that takes just six hours.
Last month, a Soyuz spaceship carrying two Russian cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut, was unable to follow the fast-track route to the ISS after a technical glitch in approach.
The astronauts were forced to spend two days en route to the ISS.
Russia insisted that the glitch was minor and would not prevent future missions from using the fast-track route to the ISS.
NASA has been wholly reliant on Russia for delivering astronauts to the space station since the US retired its space shuttles.
Progress M-23M resupply spacecraft to blast off from Baikonur on Wednesday
The Russian resupply spacecraft Progress M-23M is to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) from Baikonur spaceport's Site 1 (Gagarin's one) on Wednesday, an official of Roscosmos (Federal Space Agency) told Itar-Tass.
'The liftoff of the carrier rocket Soyuz-U with payload transport spacecraft Progress M-23M is scheduled for 19:25, Moscow time,' a Roscosmos press service official said.
According to the press service, 'the spacecraft is to deliver more than 25 tonnes of supplies of various purpose to the ISS: fueld to sustain the ISS orbit; equipment to fit the Station up; food, water, air for cosmonauts, as well as pallets with research equipment for the conduct of experiments'.
The spacecraft is to dock with the ISS six hours after liftoff.
The process of the six-hour flight (during which the spacecraft makes four revolutions around the EarthNote by Itar-Tass) was fitst tried out in August 2012 by means of the Progresd M-16M spacecraft. Until that time all resupply spacecraft of this series had traveled to the ISS according to a 48-hour diagram.
Currently working in orbit are Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Tyurin, Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Artemyev, American astronauts Richard Mastracchio and Steve Swanson, as well as Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata.
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