Russia’s cargo spacecraft Progress MS-03 has automatically docked to the Pirs module of the International Space Station (ISS), the Mission Control Center (MCC) outside Moscow told TASS on Tuesday.
"The cargo ship’s docking passed normally", MCC said.
Russian cosmonauts Alexei Ovchinin and Anatoly Ivanishin controlled the rendezvous process and were ready to take over the control, if necessary.
The new Progress spacecraft has delivered to the ISS more than 2 tons of cargo, including fuel, air, food items and equipment for the station maintenance, the crew life support means, as well as parcels for cosmonauts and astronauts. There are several kilograms of apples and grapefruit among the supplies, as well as cranberries, fresh salad and borsch soup that were requested by the cosmonauts in addition to the usual rations, the Research Institute of the Food Concentrate Industry and Special Food Technology, which prepares food for astronauts, told TASS.
In addition to Ovchinin and Ivanishin, the station’s crew currently comprises Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, American astronauts Jeffrey Williams and Kathleen Rubins and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi.
The US commercial cargo ship Dragon will be docked to the US module Harmony of the ISS on Wednesday. According to NASA, the ISS Expedition 48 crew will now prepare for the second of two back-to-back cargo deliveries with the arrival of SpaceX’s ninth commercial resupply services mission for NASA on Wednesday, July 20. Dragon is on its way to the station with nearly 5,000 pounds of supplies and science investigations.
The Previous new-generation cargo ship Progress MS-02 was launched into orbit on March 31. The next spacecraft of the series, the Progress MS-04, is planned to be launched to the ISS on October 20.
Robotic Russian Supply Ship Arrives at Space Station
The Russian unmanned cargo ship Progress 64 approaches the International Space Station ahead of docking on July 18, 2016. The supply ship delivered 3 tons of fresh supplies to the station's crew.
Credit: NASA TV
An unmanned Russian cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station late Monday (July 18), delivering tons of supplies even as yet another cargo ship launched toward the orbiting lab.
The Progress 64 cargo ship – operated by Roscosmos, the Russian space agency – docked automatically with the Pirs docking compartment of the space station at 8:20 p.m. EDT (0020 July 19 GMT) carrying a haul of food, supplies and fuel for the six astronauts on board.
The spacecraft launched into orbit on Saturday (July 18) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It traveled two days in orbit before reaching the space station as both craft were flying 250 miles (402 kilometers) over Santiago, Chile.
Meanwhile, another cargo ship is on its way to the space station. SpaceX successfully launched its Dragon spacecraft earlier Monday at 12:45 a.m. EDT (0445 GMT). It's carrying nearly 5,000 lbs. of cargo (2,267 kilograms), including a new docking adapter for the station to accommodate commercial space taxis for astronauts. The spacecraft will arrive at the station on Wednesday (July 20).
While Dragon can carry refrigerated supplies to space, the Progress spacecraft is used for carrying supplies, replacements for broken or used-up items on station, dried food and a small batch of fresh fruit.
Now that Progress 64 has docked at the station, the Expedition 48 crew can begin unloading the spaceship's 3 tons (2.7 metric tons) of supplies. Over the next six months, the spacecraft will remain docked to the station and serve as a trash can for any unneeded items. It will then undock in January and burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.
Besides Russia's Progress spacecraft and SpaceX, the other main suppliers for space station cargo is Orbital Sciences Corp., which operates the Cygnus spacecraft, and the H-2 Transfer Vehicles launched by Japan.