Science

You can watch Russia launch a new space station cargo ship tonight. That’s how.

A Russian cargo ship is ready to launch to the International Space Station tonight, and you can watch it live.

The Progress 79 spacecraft will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan no earlier than 8 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, October 27 (0000 GMT or 5 a.m. local time).

You can watch the Progress 79 cargo ship launch live on this page and on the Space.com home page at launch, courtesy of NASA TV. The webcast will begin at 7:45 pm EDT (2345 GMT). You can also watch it directly from NASA TV.

NASA said Progress 79 will carry 3 tons (2.7 metric tons) of food, fuel and supplies for the space station crew, but did not provide other details about the cargo in a short statement or on its space station blog. . Ships typically carry equipment replacements, fresh fruits and vegetables, and occasionally small gifts for the crew, who generally stay in space for at least six months in a row.

Related: How Russia’s Progress Cargo Ships Work (Infographic)

Progress 79 will take a two-day route to the International Space Station before docking at the aft port of the Zvezda service module at 9:34 pm EDT on Friday, October 29 (0134 GMT on Saturday, October 30). Docking will begin with NASA that day at 8:45 pm EDT (0045 GMT).

On Monday (October 25), a NASA blog update noted that Russian Expedition 66 cosmonauts are receiving standard backup training to prepare for the spacecraft’s arrival.

“Cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov are training for that mission today by practicing in the unlikely event that they would have to take remote control of Progress 79,” the agency said. “The Roscosmos couple trained in the tele-robotically operated rendezvous unit of the Zvezda service module, or TORU, which would take over during the automated approach and rendezvous of Progress 79.”

Progress 79 will spend about six months on the space station. The last cargo vehicle in the series, Progress 78, has just changed ports and spent 28 hours at a point about 120 miles (193 km) from the orbital complex during a new station maintenance maneuver between undocking on the module. Poisk and re-coupling on the new Nauka. module.

Two Russian vehicles in recent months experienced unexpected failures that affected the station’s operations. In late July, the Nauka module accidentally tilted the space station about 540 degrees shortly after its own docking due to a software glitch. NASA said the crew was in no danger at the time.

Then, on October 15, a Soyuz MS-18 crew capsule that returned a film crew to Earth last week caused the ISS to briefly become disoriented; NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos are investigating what happened.)

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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