Tonight (June 29), the Russian unmanned spacecraft Progress 78 successfully launched into space.
At 19:27 ET (23:27 GMT, or 4:27 am on June 30 local time), the Russian Progress MS-17 cargo spacecraft was launched to the International Space Station from the Russian Space Agency’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in within the mission, called “Progress 78”. NASA. The cargo ship was launched aboard the Soyuz 2.1a launch vehicle.
After launching into space, the spacecraft will spend two days in orbit before docking with the space station on July 1 at 9:02 pm ET (July 2 at 0102 GMT). The vehicle carries over 3600 pounds. (1,633 kg) cargo, including food, fuel and supplies for the orbital laboratory.
Video: Watch the launch of the Russian bulk carrier Progress 77
Connected: How Russian Progress cargo ships work (infographic)
Upon arrival at the space station, the spacecraft docks with the Poisk module located in the Russian segment of the station, where it will spend the next five months.
After this phase of the mission, in October, the Progress capsule is to perform automatic undocking and relocation to the Russian multipurpose laboratory module Nauka, which is scheduled to launch into space in July. Science is named after the Russian word “science”.
After a brief stint in Science, the spacecraft will undock from the space station in November. It will then re-enter Earth’s atmosphere, where it will burn up over the Pacific Ocean as part of a planned and safe destruction, according to NASA.
While Russia calls the spacecraft Progress MS-17, this mission is described by NASA as Progress 78 or 78P because it is Russia’s 78th Progress mission to the International Space Station. However, this was preceded by other Progress resupply missions, with older versions of the ship flying to previous space stations back in 1978. In fact, although this was the 78th launch of the Progress spacecraft to the ISS, it was actually the 169th flight of the Progress spacecraft.
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