The Progress M-29M space freighter has docked with the International Space Station (ISS), the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on Friday. "The docking has been automatic," Roscosmos said. The spacecraft was launched on October 1 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Progress cargo ship brings 2.3 tons of cargo to the ISS, the agency said.
The spacecraft was launched by the Soyuz-U rocket at 16:49 UTC, The booster lit up the night skies as it began chasing the Space Station that had passed over the launch site just minutes before.
Moving onto its precisely calculated trajectory, the Soyuz began a high-speed chase of the Space Station that had passed over the Cosmodrome just two minutes prior to liftoff. To be able to meet ISS after just four orbits, the Progress had to be inserted into a precise orbit, trailing ISS by a little over 3,000 Kilometers to catch up during its climb up toward the orbit of the station.
Thursday’s launch was the last one for the Progress M-M series, to be replaced by the Progress MS cargo ships with the next mission due on November 21.
Traveling about 252 miles over the North Atlantic, the Progress spacecraft docked to the rear port of the Zvezda Service Module on the International Space Station at 6:52 p.m. EDT Thursday.
|The Soyuz-U rocket with the Progress M-29M spacecraft launches to the ISS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on Oct. 1, 2015. Credit: Roscosmos|
The Progress space freighter is expected to undock from the ISS on December 9.
The spacecraft is delivering more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies, including 1,940 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water, and 3,397 pounds of spare parts and experiment hardware for the members of the Expedition 45 crew currently living and working in space.
The current crew of the ISS comprises Russia’s Mikhail Kornienko, Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Volkov, US Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren, and Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui.