Russian space agency Roscosmos launched a cargo ship early Wednesday morning on a mission to deliver nearly three tons of fresh supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).
The Progress 66 cargo ship was launched atop a Soyuz rocket at 12:58 a.m. EST on February 22 from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome. It is scheduled to arrive at the ISS early Friday, February 24.
The resupply ship will deliver food, clothing, fuel and other supplies for astronauts aboard the orbiting lab. For Russia, this resupply cargo mission will mark the last flight of its Soyuz-U launcher.
Stephen Clark of Spaceflight Now wrote, “The Soyuz-U was a workhorse for the Russian space program … launching nearly 800 times with military spy satellites, cosmonaut crews and space station resupply missions to a series of Russian orbital outposts since 1973.”
The upcoming days are going to busy for the ISS as it will have to capture and unload supplies from two robotic cargo ships that are closing in on the orbiting lab.
The other is a SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, which is carrying cargo and several experiment equipments like a lightning imager and an ozone monitor. Its first approach on Wednesday was aborted due to a GPS error. Now, it is scheduled to attach to the orbiting outpost on Thursday.