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Russian cargo ship docks to space station

Russian cargo ship docks to space station

e-News® | The NEWS Company…MOSCOW, July 5, 2015 : An unmanned Russian cargo ship successfully docked with the International Space Station on Sunday following a string of failed attempts to resupply the orbital laboratory.

“The transport cargo ship Progress M-28M has docked with the… Russian segment of the ISS at 10:11am Moscow time (0711GMT),” the Russian federal space agency (Roscosmos) said in a statement. The ship is carrying more than 2,300 kilos of oxygen, fuel, food, and scientific equipment, as well as personal packages for the international crew of three. Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko and US astronaut Scott Kelly are part of the Expedition 44 currently in space, to be joined by three more people later this month. Commander Padalka is scheduled to return to Earth in November while Kornienko and Kelly are part of a year-long mission which will not go home until March next year.

“Crew reports, ‘Feels like Christmas in July’,” the official ISS Twitter account posted after the docking. “Third time is the charm, as they say,” Kelly chuckled on his Twitter blog, referring to the series of accidents that undermined previous cargo missions. The Progress’ arrival comes just one week after the explosion of a US  Falcon 9 rocket launched by SpaceX which was supposed to deliver expensive gear to the unmanned Dragon capsule. A previous launch of the Progress in April also ended badly, as Russian flight control lost communication with the ship and could do nothing but watch it slowly descend and burn up in the atmosphere.

Last year also marked the loss of the US Cygnus cargo carrier, whose Antares rocket exploded shortly after liftoff in October. NASA had said the ISS was well-stocked through October even before the Progress arrived, but the industry has still been reeling after three accidents in a row.

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