“Crew reports, “Feels like Christmas in July””, the official ISS Twitter account posted after the docking.
While such missions are usually routine, past spacecraft resupply attempts have failed, making this one especially crucial.
SpaceX won’t fly again for months while investigating what caused its rocket explosion less than three minutes after launch from Cape Canaveral last Sunday. The cargo includes fuel, air, oxygen, containers and equipment for scientific experiments, water and food. Astronaut Scott Kelly, who is on board for a one year mission in space, was very relieved that the Progress cargo arrived safely. The ship arrived at the worldwide Space Station after a series of high-profile failures that have delayed the next manned flight to the orbiting outpost.
There was another Russian rocket, Progress 59, which went out of control after launch in April and burned up on re-entry in May.
The accidents, involving three different rockets, had nothing in common ‘other than it’s space, and it’s hard to go fly, ‘ NASA Associate Administrator William Gerstenmaier told reporters after the SpaceX failure.
Among the lost equipment was a docking adaptor – the first of its kind – that would allow commercial crew vehicles to dock with the station in the future. “We’re in good shape from a food standpoint”.
While cosmonaut Gennady Padalka shared from the station’s Zvezda order feature, he explained, our team thank you too.
However, he said, the crew will need to watch water levels.
“Even without processed water, we have enough water supplies on orbit until late 2015”, NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz said.
In the wake of the trio of American and Russian launch failures, the crews current enjoy only about four month of supplies reserves compared to the more desireable six months of reserves in case of launch mishaps.
The unpiloted spacecraft’s docking mechanism engaged its counterpart in the station’s Earth-facing Pirs compartment at 3:11 a.m. EDT (GMT-4), this was two days after launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Astronauts living there mostly conduct experiments, NASA said.