Russia launched 2.5 tons of cargo aboard the Progress MS-14 spacecraft destined for the International Space Station early this morning. Just three hours and twenty minutes later, the spacecraft docked with the station’s Zvezda module.
The Progress MS-14 spacecraft was launched aboard a Soyuz 2.1a carrier rocket dubbed “Victory” by Russian officials. It was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 01:51 UTC and successfully separated from the rocket’s upper stage just under nine minutes later.
The launch was conducted within a two-orbit rendezvous window. This enabled the spacecraft to rendezvous and dock with the ISS just three hours and twenty minutes after it was launched, a journey that ordinarily takes between 6 hours and 2 days.
Once within reach of the station, the Progress MS-14 spacecraft was instructed to automatically dock with the station’s Zvezda module. The approach and docking were monitored by Russia’s TsNIIMash Mission Control Center and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner aboard the station.
The Progress MS-14 spacecraft carried 2.5 tons of cargo for the crew of the ISS. This included 1,350 kilograms of equipment, food, medicine and clothing, 700 kilograms of fuel and compressed gasses, and 420 liters of water in the Rodnik system tanks. According to a Roscmos press release, “the crew also received commemorative memorabilia dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War [World War II].”
The next mission to the station is currently scheduled for May 27 and will carry NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken. The mission will be the first crewed flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon. It will also be the first crewed mission to be launched from US soil in almost a decade since the retirement of the space shuttle.