The Progress 7 spacecraft lifted off on a Soyuz booster rocket at 2:13 p.m. CST (2013 GMT) and less than 10 minutes later safely settled into orbit. Automatic programmed commands enabled its solar arrays and navigational antennas to deploy. At the time of launch, the ISS and the Expedition Four crew, Commander Yury Onufrienko and Flight Engineers Carl Walz and Dan Bursch, were traveling over Africa out of the line of sight of the launch itself.
A series of rendezvous burns from the new Progress' engines over the next three days will result in a docking by the craft to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module on Sunday at 2:55 p.m. CST (2055 GMT) over Central Asia. That port was vacated on Tuesday when the previous Progress resupply vehicle undocked and was deorbited to a destructive re-entry back into Earth's atmosphere.