One other robotic cargo craft is on its strategy to the Worldwide Area Station (ISS).
A Russian Progress freighter launched atop a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan this morning (Dec. 6) at 4:34 EST (0934 GMT; 1434 native time at Baikonur), carrying 2.7 tons of meals, propellant and different provides towards the orbiting lab.
The liftoff got here lower than 24 hours after SpaceX’s Dragon capsule started its personal journey to the ISS. Dragon is scheduled to reach on the house station Sunday morning (Dec. 8), and the Progress will observe go well with on Monday (Dec. 9).
“It’s at all times enjoyable,” Kenny Todd, supervisor of Worldwide Area Station Operations Integration at NASA, mentioned about cargo missions throughout a prelaunch press convention on Tuesday (Dec. 3).
“These type of dynamic occasions are one thing that everyone seems ahead to, as a result of it actually is a chance to get some new cargo, some new instruments on board and get some new science,” he added. “So, we’re actually enthusiastic about this specific timeframe.”
Dragon will return to Earth on or round Jan. 6, Todd mentioned. The Progress, in the meantime, will keep connected to the ISS for about seven months. (Dragon will survive its return to Earth, by the way in which, whereas the Progress will deplete in our planet’s ambiance.)
There is a good likelihood some vacation goodies are tucked into each freighters; NASA, Russia and their ISS companions do prefer to deal with crewmembers on the orbiting lab once they have an opportunity. Certainly, Todd was requested if Dragon is carrying something particularly seasonal on this journey, and his non-denial spoke volumes.
“So far as presents and so forth, I’m unsure I wish to expose something,” he mentioned. “However I believe I might let you know that Santa’s sleigh is — I believe it’s licensed for the vacuum of house. So, we’ll see what occurs.”
Dragon and Progress are two of 4 robotic spaceships that presently fly resupply missions to the ISS. The opposite two are Japan’s H-II Switch Car, also referred to as Kounotori (Japanese for “white stork”), and Cygnus, which is operated by Virginia-based firm Northrop Grumman. (Northrop Grumman, like SpaceX, holds a NASA resupply contract.)
Mike Wall’s e-book concerning the seek for alien life, “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Observe him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Fb.