Roscosmos Progress 87 Cargo Craft Successfully Launches to International Space Station

Progress 87 Cargo Craft Launches

The Progress 87 cargo craft launches to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on February 14, 2024. Credit: NASA TV

The unpiloted Roscosmos Progress 87 is safely in orbit headed for the International Space Station following the launch at 10:25 p.m. EST Wednesday, February 14 (8:25 a.m. Baikonur time Thursday, February 15) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The resupply ship reached preliminary orbit, and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned, on its way to meet up with the orbiting laboratory and its Expedition 70 crew members.

Progress will dock to the aft port of the Zvezda service module two days later at 1:12 a.m. EST on Saturday, February 17. Live coverage of rendezvous and docking will begin at 12:30 a.m. Progress will deliver almost three tons of food, fuel, and supplies to the space station.

Progress 72 Resupply Ship

Russia’s Progress 72 resupply ship is pictured approaching the International Space Station’s Pirs docking compartment carrying 3.7 tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the Expedition 59 crew. Credit: NASA

Roscosmos Progress Spacecraft

The Roscosmos Progress spacecraft are a series of uncrewed cargo ships, operated by Roscosmos, the space agency of the Russian Federation. These spacecraft are designed to supply the International Space Station (ISS) with food, fuel, and other essential supplies. The Progress spacecraft are an integral part of maintaining the ISS, ensuring that the crew aboard has the necessary resources to sustain their missions in space.

Launched from earthbound cosmodromes, Progress spacecraft dock automatically with the ISS, utilizing a sophisticated radar and docking system. After the cargo is transferred and waste materials are loaded into the Progress, the spacecraft undocks and is deorbited, burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere. This efficient cycle of resupply and waste disposal has been a cornerstone of space station logistics since the first Progress mission in 1978, supporting not only the ISS but also its predecessor, the Soviet space station Mir.

Baikonur Cosmodrome

The Baikonur Cosmodrome, located in Kazakhstan, is the world’s first and largest operational space launch facility. Established in 1955 by the then Soviet Union, it has been the launch site for many milestones in space exploration, including the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, and the first manned spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin. The cosmodrome is sprawling, covering an area of over 6,000 square kilometers.

Despite the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Baikonur remains under Russian control and is used extensively by Roscosmos for a variety of space missions, including manned Soyuz flights and Progress cargo missions to the ISS. The facility includes multiple launch complexes and support infrastructure, capable of supporting a wide range of space activities. The cosmodrome’s location, near the equator, offers advantageous conditions for launching spacecraft into various orbits, making it a pivotal asset in global space exploration efforts.

Be the first to comment on "Roscosmos Progress 87 Cargo Craft Successfully Launches to International Space Station"

Leave a comment

Email address is optional. If provided, your email will not be published or shared.