by Staff Writers
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Feb 10, 2014
A Russian Progress resupply ship launched on a fast-rendezvous mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday. Progress M-22M was launched by a Soyuz-U launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday at 4:23pm UTC, ahead of docking, just six hours later.
An unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft docked with the International Space Station to deliver supplies to the crewmembers manning the space laboratory after a quick trip through space.
The Russian Progress 54 vehicle docked to the station as both flew 261 miles (420 kilometers) above the Atlantic Ocean at 5:22 pm EST (2222 GMT). The spacecraft docked about six hours after launching atop Russia's Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Robotic Progress ships have done these accelerated station runs since 2012. The supply ship is loaded down with 2.8 tons of spare parts and other cargo for the Expedition 38 crew currently on the orbiting outpost.
Russian Soyuz launches space ship with goldfish on board to ISS
Russia's Progress M-22M, planned to dock with the station six hours after launch, will replenish the facility's food, water, air and fuel supplies.
The launch, televised live, was the first of over three dozen scheduled for the Russian space program this year.
The craft will also deliver flatworms, mosquito larvae and goldfishes for scientific research.
"The space cargo ship will bring more than 2.5 tons of cargoes to the International Space Station (ISS), including a container with goldfish meant for the Russian-Japanese experiment 'Aquarium-AQH'," a spokesman for the Roscosmos agency told RIA Novosti.
The experiment examines closed ecological systems in space and muscle atrophy and bone loss in zero gravity.
It is planned that this experiment will be conducted on the American segment of the International Space Station on board Kibo, the Japanese Experiment module, in the JAXA Aquatic Habitat (AQH) aquarium.
Another Progress vehicle undocked from the station Monday in order to free up a docking port for the incoming craft and will be guided in a controlled descent to burn up over the Pacific Ocean next week.
In addition to supplies for the Russian segment, the Progress M-22M is carrying 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of American, European and Japanese cargo under a commercial contract. A pair of companies including Russia's SOGAZ has insured the vehicle for $43 million in case of an accident.
Progress is one of five unmanned vehicles to have visited the station, along with the Japanese HTV, European ATV and American Cygnus and Dragon spacecraft. Progress freighters have been launched more than 130 times since their debut in 1972 with only one failure, including over 50 missions to the ISS. The engines on Progress also periodically boost the station's orbit.
Source: Voice of Russia
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