Russian Cargo Ship Docks in Space
MOSCOW (AP) _ An unmanned Russian cargo ship docked safely with the international space station Wednesday, carrying 2.4 tons of fuel, clothing and other supplies, according to news reports.
The ship, called the Progress, was launched Sunday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakstan. It docked at about 12:15 a.m. Moscow time, the ITAR-Tass news agency and Russian television reported.
The fuel will be used to adjust the space station’s orbit. The ship was also delivering scientific instruments, linen and personal hygiene supplies.
It is the first of two Progress missions ferrying supplies to the space station in preparation for the arrival of the first crew on Nov. 1. The next supply mission will be in late August.
The Zvezda control module, put into orbit last month, contains living quarters and a guidance system. The installation means the space station can finally be manned. Russia’s inability to pay its bills and rocket problems had delayed the module’s installation by two years.
Construction is now expected to speed up, and the space station is scheduled to be complete in 2005, after more than 40 more launches.