Russia launches cargo spacecraft toward International Space Station (video)

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Another Russian cargo craft is on its way to the International Space Station.

A Soyuz rocket launched the uncrewed Progress 82 freighter toward the International Space Station (ISS) from the Russia-run Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan tonight (Oct. 25) at 8:20 p.m. EDT (0020 GMT and 5:20 a.m. local Baikonur time on Oct. 26).

Progress 82 is carrying nearly 3 tons of food, fuel and other supplies for the crewmembers of the orbiting lab’s current Expedition 68 mission. 

Related: How Russia’s Progress spaceships work (infographic) 

A Russian Soyuz rocket launches the Progress 82 cargo craft toward the International Space Station from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Oct. 25, 2022. (Image credit: NASA TV/Roscosmos)

The freighter will chase the ISS for two days, finally catching it and docking Thursday (Oct. 27) at 10:49 p.m. EDT (0249 GMT on Oct. 28), if all goes according to plan. You can watch the arrival here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV . Coverage is scheduled to begin at 10:15 p.m. EDT (0215 GMT on Oct. 28).  

Progress is one of three robotic spacecraft that currently fly cargo missions to the ISS. The other two are private American vehicles — SpaceX’s Dragon capsule and Northop Grumman’s Cygnus vehicle.

Dragon is reusable, but Progress and Cygnus are expendable craft that burn up in Earth’s atmosphere when their time in orbit is up. The Progress 80 vehicle recently gave up the ghost, in fact, departing the ISS on Sunday evening (Oct. 23) and performing an intentional death dive shortly thereafter.

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Another Progress spacecraft remains at the ISS, however: Progress 81, which arrived in June. 

Two crewed vehicles are docked with the orbiting lab at the moment as well. One is a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which arrived in September. The other is SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule Endurance, which is flying the company’s Crew-5 mission for NASA. Endurance launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Oct. 5 and reached the ISS a day later.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 8:40 p.m. EDT on Oct. 25 with news of a successful liftoff.

Mike Wall is the author of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).  

Source: space.com

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