A Russian Progress cargo spacecraft has been launched carrying almost three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the International Space Station.
The Progress MS-13 spacecraft was launched aboard a Soyuz 2.1a from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 09:34 UTC this morning. Following a successful launch, NASA officials confirmed the spacecraft’s solar arrays and navigational antennas were deployed as planned.
Over the next three days, the Progress MS-13 spacecraft will complete 49 orbits of Earth as it chases the orbiting outpost. The spacecraft is expected to rendezvous with the ISS on Monday, December 9 and dock to the station’s Pirs module.
According to a December 6 Roscosmos press release, the spacecraft is carrying 700 kilograms of fuel, 1,350 kilograms of equipment and cargo, and 420 kilograms of water and “standard food rations”.
Once docked, the Progress MS-13 spacecraft is expected to remain aboard the ISS for more than seven months. It is expected to depart the station in July 2020 following which it will complete a destructive deorbit burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.
This morning’s launch was the second ISS resupply mission to be launched with the last 48 hours. Yesterday, SpaceX successfully launched a flight-proven Dragon spacecraft carrying 3 tons of science and supplies for the station. The CRS-19 spacecraft is expected to rendezvous with the ISS on Sunday, December 8.