Russian cargo ship heads to space station, loaded with 2.5 tons of supplies and equipment

A Russian Progress cargo ship took off from Kazakhstan on a Soyuz thruster on Sunday night, carrying 2.5 tons of supplies and equipment bound for the International Space Station. Under a gloomy cloudy sky, the launch from Site 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome occurred at 11:45 pm EST (10:45 am Monday local time) when the center stage of the Soyuz 2.1a thruster and the belt-driven thrusters they ignited with a blast of flaming exhaust.

Eight minutes and 45 seconds after lift-off, the rocket’s third stage shut down and fell, and a few seconds later the freighter’s solar panels and antennas were deployed and locked in place as planned.

Under a gloomy cloudy sky, an unmanned Progress freighter takes off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with supplies bound for the International Space Station on February 15, 2021.

Roscomos / NASA

If all goes well, the Progress MS-16 / 77P cargo ship will conduct an automated 33-orbits rendezvous with the space station, catching up and approaching to dock at Russia’s Earth-oriented Pirs module around 1 : 20 am Wednesday.

Onboard: 5,424 pounds of equipment and supplies, including 3,086 pounds of dry cargo, 1,322 pounds of propellant, 926 pounds of water, and 89 pounds of compressed gas.

Later this year, Progress will be used to remove the Pirs module from the station, clearing the way for the installation of a new Russian laboratory module.


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