Russia has launched a new Soyuz Rocket into space as part of its resupply mission to the International Space Station. The rocket was launched from a launch pad in Kazakhstan this Wednesday. The Soyuz rocket carried a Progress MS-05 cargo freighter which will deliver around 6,000 pounds of water, supplies, and fuel to the ISS crew.
The launch of Russia’s ISS resupply mission comes shortly after SpaceX’s own recent mission, which only reached the ISS a few hours ago. The consecutive resupply missions come after both SpaceX’s Dragon and Russia’s Progress supply freighter experienced some rocket trouble in 2016.
The Soyuz rocket managed to successfully launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, despite the launch pad being covered in several inches of snow and the temperature was almost 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, weather conditions were favorable and the rocket did not experience any problems.
The Soyuz rocket managed to shed the four liquid-fueled boosters it was equipped within just two minutes since it was launched. Afterward, it released its core stage while the third stage RD-0110 engine managed to push the 16,000-pounds Progress freighter into orbit.
The engine of rocket performed as expected on its first launch since the mishap in 2016, which involved a third stage failure, which led to the destruction of the Progress spacecraft just a few minutes after liftoff. Russian engineers discovered that other Soyuz rockets were built using alloys not meant for spaceflight. With the successful launch of the rocket, it seems that all the issues have been solved.
At around nine minutes since liftoff, the Progress spacecraft was deployed into orbit, where it started to unfurl its navigation antennas and solar panels. After completing a series of orbit-adjustment burns over two days, the spacecraft will begin setting up it’s radar-guided docking to the ISS via the Pirs module on Friday.
The Progress spacecraft is scheduled to remain docked at the space station until June when it will depart and begin to burn up in the planet’s atmosphere in order to make room for the next Russian resupply mission.
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