Russia sends cargo to the ISS

5 Jul

At the International Space Station they are counting on the old adage the third time is a charm. That is how many supply missions have blasted off since the last one reached ISS back in April of this year. Since that time the Russian Progressive M-27M and a SpaceX Falcon 9 have both failed to deliver their supplies. So, when a Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off from Kazakhstan, all fingers were crossed on Friday.

“We’ve always assumed we would lose a vehicle every so often,” said Michael Suffredini, manager of the International Space Station Program for NASA. “Having three this close together is not what we’d hoped for.”

You could hear a sigh of relief around the world on Friday morning when the Russian Progressive M-28M lifted off without a hitch. That sigh turned to cheers as the rocket cleared the launch pad into the blue skies above Kazakhstan. A few minutes later the first separation went perfect as the Progressive launch vehicle went in orbit around the Earth. It will then make 34 passes around the globe before docking with ISS early Sunday morning.

Just because all has gone well so far there is still reason for us to keep our finger crossed. The Progressive M-27 mission that blasted off in April was on course until the final approach before the space vehicle spun out of control and failed to dock with the ISS. But, as long as everything goes as planned the Progressive M-28 will deliver 5,249 pounds of supplies including fuel, food, water and science equipment.

Despite the fact that 3 of the last 7 unmanned missions to the ISS have failed the record of successes is still extremely impressive. Since 2000 there have been a total of 83 unmanned missions and only 4 have ended up in failure.

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