Russia launches cargo ship heading for International Space Station – Spaceflight Now

A Soyuz-2.1a rocket blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with the Progress MS-16 provide ship. Credit score: Roscosmos

Russia launched an unpiloted Progress cargo freighter Sunday from Kazakhstan, on target to ship 2.7 tons of meals, gas, water, and provides to the Worldwide House Station earlier than hauling away a no-longer-needed part of the outpost later this yr to clear the best way for a brand new laboratory module.

The Progress MS-16 cargo ship blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz-2.1a rocket at 11:45:06 p.m. EST Sunday (0445:06 GMT; 9:45:06 a.m. native time).

The kerosene-fueled launcher rapidly disappeared right into a soupy layer of clouds, however reside video from on-board “rocket cams” confirmed the Soyuz climbing via the environment earlier than shedding 4 first stage boosters and an aerodynamic shroud that lined the Progress spacecraft through the first jiffy of flight.

The Soyuz later jettisoned its core stage and ignited a 3rd stage engine to complete the job of inserting the Progress MS-16 provide ship right into a preliminary orbit.

The automated cargo service separated from the Soyuz third stage and unfurled photo voltaic panels and navigation antennas, starting a two-day pursuit of the area station that may culminate in a docking with the area station’s Pirs module at 1:20 a.m. EST (0620 GMT) Wednesday.

The Progress MS-16 spacecraft is loaded with round 5,424 kilos, or 2,460 kilograms, of cargo and provides for the area station and its seven-person crew, in line with Roscosmos, the Russian area company.

The freighter’s payload consists of about 3,086 kilos (1,400 kilograms) of dry cargo packed contained in the Progress spacecraft’s pressurized compartment. There’s additionally 1,322 kilos (600 kilograms) of propellant to be fed into the area station’s Zvezda service module propulsion system, together with 926 kilos (420 kilograms) of recent water and 89 kilos (40.5 kilograms) of pressurized gases to complement the area station’s breathable environment.

The Soyuz rocket’s liftoff Sunday marked the 77th launch of a Progress provide ship to the Worldwide House Station since 2000. The earlier Progress cargo ship, Progress MS-15, undocked from the area station Feb. 9 and made a harmful re-entry into the environment, eliminating trash and clearing the best way for the arrival of recent cargo supply.

The Progress MS-16 spacecraft can be carrying gear to assist cosmonauts detect and patch leaks on the area station, plus Russian biomedical experiments and a analysis payload to review acquiring meals and oxygen from algae in microgravity, Roscosmos stated.

The availability ship will stay on the area station till July, when the Progress is scheduled to depart with the Pirs docking compartment in tow. The Progress MS-16 will information itself, together with the disused Pirs module, again into the environment to dissipate on the finish of its mission.

The Progress MS-16 provide ship throughout pre-launch preparations on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit score: Roscosmos

The Pirs module has served as a docking port and an airlock for cosmonauts on spacewalks since 2001. The same module named Poisk serves an analogous operate, and can stay on the area station.

The elimination of the Pirs module clears a docking port on the Zvezda service module, the central hub of the area station’s Russian section, for the arrival of the long-delayed Nauka laboratory later this yr after launch on a heavy-lift Proton rocket. The Nauka lab module would be the largest addition to the Russian section of the station since 2000, when Zvezda itself was launched.

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Comply with Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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