A Russian Progress cargo capsule lifted off Tuesday from Kazakhstan, starting a two-day journey to the International Space Station with 5,400 pounds of fuel, food, water, compressed air, spare parts and other supplies.
The Progress 43 settled into orbit nine minutes later on a course that should lead to a docking with the six-person orbiting science laboratory on Thursday at 12:39 p.m., EDT.
The latest cargo freighter is programmed for a docking with the station’s Russian segment aft docking port. The berthing port was vacated on Monday by the European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-2, which was to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere late Tuesday. The ATV-2, christened Johannes Kepler, spend four months at the station, furnishing the propulsion for space station orbital adjustments and attitude control.
Prior to its departure, the ATV-2 raised the station’s altitude four times to prepare the orbital outpost for the arrival of the Progress as well as the shuttle Atlantis.
Atlantis is tentatively scheduled to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center on NASA’s final shuttle mission on July 8 at 11:26 a.m., EDT. The four-member shuttle crew will deliver supplies to the station over a 12-day flight.
The Progress soared from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 10:38 a.m., EDT.