The Russian cargo ship Progress 71 is approaching the International Space Station on November 18, 2018, from a video camera at the station. The robotic supplies ship delivered 2.8 tons of supplies to the station.
Credit: NASA TV
An unloaded Russian freighter called the International Space Station on Sunday (Nov. 18) to deliver nearly 3 tons of supplies to the lab in orbit.
The refueling ship, called Progress 71, docked at the space station at 2:28 pm. EST (1928 GMT) as both spacecraft sailed 252 miles (405 km) over Algeria. Progress 71 was launched into orbit on Friday (November 16) of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
"A journey of textbooks for Progress," Nasa spokesman Rob Navias said during a live commentary. [The Space Station’s Robotic Cargo Ship Fleet in Pictures]
Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, station's flight engineer, accompanied the arrival of Progress 71 carefully, ready to take the remote control if necessary. But the freighter worked flawlessly, parked at the rear end of Zvezda's service module, built in Russia.
Progress 71 delivered 5,654 pounds (2,564 kg) of food, fuel and other supplies to the station crew. This transportation includes: 2,866 pounds (1,300 kg) of dry cargo, such as food and equipment for experiments; 1,653 pounds (750 kg) propellant; 970 pounds (440 kg) of water; 122.2 pounds (55 kg) of oxygen; and 53 pounds (24 kg) of air.
The launch of Progress 71, which took off from a Soyuz FG rocket, sets the stage for the first launch of a new crew for the station since the Oct. 11 crash of a similar rocket forced into an in-flight abortion and emergency landing for American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin. The two men were unharmed and the Russian space agency Roscosmos located the flaw of a defective sensor in one of the rocket rockets.
With the successful launch of Progress 71, Roscosmos employees are now confident that their Soyuz FG reinforcements are again ready to transport human crews. The next flight, scheduled for December 3, will bring three new crew members to the station: American Anne McClain, Russian Oleg Kononenko and Canadian David Saint-Jacques. The trio joined the other three still on board (the German Alexander Gerst, the American Serena Auñon-Chancellor and Prokopyev).
The shipment of Progress 71 arrives one day before another cargo ship, a Cygnus spacecraft without wreckage, which will arrive at the station on Monday (Nov. 19) to deliver about 3,357 pounds of supplies. A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket launched Cygnus on Saturday (November 17) from a block at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.
You can watch the Cygnus arrive at the live station here, courtesy of NASA TV. The NASA webcast will begin at 4 am (0900 GMT), with astronauts expected to catch Cygnus at 5:20 am (1020 GMT).