Russia has successfully launched the second International Space Station (ISS) resupply mission in less than a week with over 2,400 kilograms of dry cargo, fuel, water, and oxygen. The launch was also the fifth Soyuz mission launched in less than a month aboard four different variants of the rocket.
The Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft was launched aboard a Soyuz 2.1a from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:10 UTC this morning. Following the launch, Russia officials confirmed that the spacecraft had successfully separated from the rocket’s upper stage and deployed its solar panels as planned.
The Progress MS-12 spacecraft is currently on a 2-orbit rendezvous with the ISS that will see it catch up to the orbiting laboratory in less than four hours. This fast-track rendezvous with the station is unique to launches from Baikonur. It is achieved by launching the spacecraft into a specially designed orbit that allows it to be deployed into the orbital plane of the ISS with a small angular distance between the two.
The automatic docking of the spacecraft to the Pirs docking module of the station is expected at 15:35 UTC.
Aboard the Progress MS-12 spacecraft is 1,185 kilograms of dry cargo, 50 kilograms of oxygen, 420 kilograms of water and 800 kilograms of fuel. The over 1,000 kilograms of dry cargo includes food, clothing, medicine, personal care packages for the crew, and life-support components.
This morning’s resupply mission was the second launched in less than a week. On July 25, SpaceX launched a cargo Dragon spacecraft aboard a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral. The spacecraft was successfully captured and installed onto the station’s Harmony module two days later.