Russia’s robotic Progress 80 cargo ship launched on Monday, February 14, carrying about 3 tons of supplies and equipment toward the orbiting lab.
From Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, a Russian Soyuz rocket launched Progress 80 at 11:25 p.m. EST Monday (0425 GMT or 9:25 a.m. local time on Tuesday, February 15).
The freighter will orbit Earth more than 30 times before arriving at the ISS, a milestone scheduled to occur early on February 17, Thursday. NASA TV will air live coverage of the cargo ship’s arrival beginning.
NASA stated that Progress 80 will carry about 3000 kg of food, supplies, and fuel to the International Space Station (ISS). The cargo craft’s departure date from the orbiting lab will be determined by RFSA, Roscosmos, later.
Days ago, Roscosmos announced that it plans to shorten Progress deliveries to a single-orbit, two-hour journey to the orbiting lab. Should early testing go to plan, implementing that superfast route is expected in 2023?
Starting in 2018, many Progress vehicles could get to the ISS in two or three hours. But the timing of launches and space station arrivals is subject to many factors, such as the activities of other spacecraft docked to the ISS.
Progress 80 is the main spacecraft by which Russia delivers supplies to its crews on the ISS, following previous Progress variants that supplied earlier stations such as Mir. Progress and Salyut 6 was first developed in the 1970s under the now-defunct Soviet Union.