The new resupply ship lifted off at 9:41 a.m. EDT (7:41 p.m. Baikonur time). It will be the 23rd Progress to visit the station. Less than 10 minutes later, the cargo ship reached orbit, and its solar arrays and navigational antennas were deployed for the three-day trip to the orbital outpost.
Two pre-programmed firings of the Progress' main engine are scheduled Friday to fine-tune the ship's path to the space station. Additional rendezvous maneuvers are planned over the next three days.
Expedition 14 Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria and flight engineers Mikhail Tyurin and Thomas Reiter were flying 220 miles over southern Russia, north of the Mongolian border, when the Progress was launched. Carrying almost 2.5 tons of food, water, fuel, oxygen, air, spare parts and other supplies, the Progress is scheduled to automatically dock to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module at 10:28 a.m. EDT Thursday.
The ISS Progress 22 craft that arrived in June remains docked to the Pirs Docking Compartment. That Progress will be used to stow trash and supply oxygen to replenish the station's atmosphere when required. The spacecraft won't be discarded until mid-January.