HOUSTON -- Russia's M-09M Progress unmanned cargo freighter docked with the International Space Station late Jan. 29, delivering three tons of propellant, food, water, compressed air, medical gear and other equipment.
Russia's 41st Progress on final approach to the International Space Station
Photo Credit/NASA TV
The capsule, 41st in the series of Progress spacecraft launched to the orbiting science laboratory, made an automated docking with the Pirs module at 9:39 p.m. EST, as the two spacecraft sailed 220 miles above the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Uruguay.
The operation unfolded “flawlessly,” according to NASA spokesman Rob Navias, a member of the NASA Mission Control team that monitored the activities.
The linkup was the second cargo delivery within three days for the six U.S, Russian and Italian astronauts living aboard the station. Japan's HTV-2 was berthed early Jan. 27 to the U. S. segment's Harmony module following a rendezvous and successful grapple by two of the station's crew using the station's Canadian robot arm.
The HTV-2, christened Kounotori, delivered 5.3 tons of internal supplies and external spare parts.
A third spacecraft in a series of global station cargo missions is expected to arrive in late February. The European Space Agency's second Automated Transfer Vehicle, the Johannes Kepler, is nearing a Feb. 15th liftoff from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Arrival of the Johannes Kepler at the station's aft service module docking port with eight tons of equipment is expected eight days later.
Progress 41 lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome atop a Soyuz U on Jan. 27 at 8:32 p.m. EST..