The new resupply ship lifted off at 8:12 p.m. CST (8:12 a.m. Baikonur time Jan. 18). 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.
Pre-programmed firings of the Progress’ main engine are scheduled over the next two days to fine-tune the ship’s path to the space station as the craft approaches the station for docking.
When the Progress launched, Expedition 14 Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineers Mikhail Tyurin and Suni Williams were flying 220 miles over the South Atlantic Ocean just off the southeast coast of Argentina.
Carrying more than 2.5 tons of food, fuel, oxygen, air, spare parts and other supplies, the Progress is scheduled to automatically dock to the Pirs Docking Compartment at 9 p.m. CST Friday. NASA TV coverage of the docking will begin Friday at 8 p.m. CST. The inventory aboard the new Progress includes 1,720 pounds of propellent, 110 pounds of oxygen and 3,285 pounds of supplies, spare parts and experiment and environmental system hardware.
The ISS Progress 22 craft, which arrived in June 2006, undocked from Pirs Tuesday to clear the port for the new cargo vehicle.