An unmanned Russian rocket is scheduled to blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:55 a.m. ET Friday on a supply run to the worldwide Space Station.
A Russian cargo spacecraft is heading toward an early Sunday rendezvous with the global Space Station, hoping to end a streak of two consecutive failed resupply missions.
Now, a Russian Soyuz rocket has picked up the slack and has launched successfully with a cargo ship carrying a three tonne payload. The launch was webcast live on NASA TV. Moscow launches its own spacecraft to the ISS, while Washington has turned to private firms for sending supplies to the space station.
The global Space Station was flying about 249 miles over northwestern Sudan, near the border with Egypt and Libya, at the moment of liftoff. The rocket is yet to complete to two-day journey to the ISS, but is now safely in orbit, according to mission control.
The craft will orbit Earth 34 times before aligning with the space station’s orbit to allow for docking on Sunday, July 5, around 3:13 a.m. Eastern Time.
The Soyuz rocket is expected to reach the ISS on Sunday, July 5.
The ISS has back-up supplies for exactly these kind of emergencies. Yet if this mission doesn’t pan out, then NASA and Roscosmos have cause to worry. Russian Federation launched Soyuz rocket and Progress cargo ship to flight on Friday. And if tonight’s launch fails, there’s still a Japanese HTV resupply craft going up in mid-August.
Russian media called the Progress M-28M’s launch a crucial one, although they said the three men onboard the ISS have enough supplies that will last them around three months.
Following Sundays SpaceX cargo launch failure, the over 6100 pounds of new supplies are urgently needed more than ever before.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk said there was an overpressure in the liquid oxygen tank of the Falcon 9 rocket.
Previous launch failures include a Russian Progress capsule, which on April 28th failed to properly separate from its Soyuz launcher’s upper-stage, fating the mission to failure, as it burned up upon reentry into the atmosphere on May 8th. “NASA’s purchasing of commercial crew and cargo space services are proving to be a dramatic cost-savings to the taxpayer compared to traditional programs”.