Russian Progress Cargo Craft Docks to Space Station to Replenish Crew

Progress 85 Cargo Craft Approaching Space Station

The Progress 85 cargo craft is pictured from the International Space Station approaching the Zvezda service module for a docking. Credit: NASA TV

An uncrewed Roscosmos Progress 85 spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station’s aft port of the Zvezda service module at 11:45 p.m. EDT. The spacecraft launched on a Soyuz rocket at 9:08 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 22 (6:08 a.m. Baikonur time on August 23) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Progress is delivering almost three tons of food, fuel, and supplies to the International Space Station for the Expedition 69 crew.

The spacecraft will remain at the orbiting laboratory for approximately six months, then undock for a destructive but safe re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere to dispose of trash loaded by the crew.

Progress 73 Cargo Craft

Russia’s Progress 73 cargo craft is pictured departing the International Space Station after undocking from the Pirs docking compartment. Loaded with trash, the spacecraft was deorbited a few hours later and burned up safely over the Pacific Ocean. Credit: NASA

Roscosmos Progress spacecraft are a series of uncrewed cargo spacecraft developed by the Soviet Union (and later operated by its successor state, Russia) to supply the space station programs with which the country was involved. They were specifically designed to deliver supplies to the Salyut and later the Mir space stations, and now serve the International Space Station.

These spacecraft have played a crucial role in supporting long-duration human spaceflight by ensuring that space stations remain stocked with the necessary supplies and fuel.

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