Russian Progress supply ship docks at space station in automatic mode
Moscow, Nov 19: Two days after launching from the steppe of Kazakhstan, a Russian Progress cargo ship loaded with 2.8 tons of supplies and equipment caught up with the International Space Station Sunday, gliding in for an automated docking to wrap up a two-day rendezvous.
The launch of Progress 71, which lifted off on a Soyuz FG booster, sets the stage for the first launch of a new crew to the station since the Oct. 11 failure of a similar rocket forced an in-flight abort and emergency landing for American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin. The two men were unharmed and Russia's space agency Roscosmos traced the failure to a faulty sensor on one of the rocket's boosters.
With the back-to-back cargo deliveries behind them, Expedition 57 commander Alexander Gerst, Sergey Prokopyev and Serena Auñón-Chancellor will prepare the station for the arrival of three new crew members - Oleg Kononenko, Canadian flight engineer David Saint-Jacques and NASA astronaut Anne McClain.
They are scheduled for launch from Baikonur aboard the Soyuz MS-11/57S spacecraft on Dec. 3.