The Progress 7 spacecraft gently linked up to the aft docking port of the station's Zvezda Service Module at 2:58 p.m. CST (2058 GMT) as the two craft sailed over Central Asia at an altitude of 240 statute miles. Within minutes, hooks and latches engaged between the Progress's docking probe and Zvezda's capture mechanism to form a tight seal.
Commander Yury Onufrienko and Flight Engineers Carl Walz and Dan Bursch, were scheduled to perform leak checks of the interface between the Progress and Zvezda later today before opening up the hatches to the newly arrived vehicle. The crew will begin to unload its cargo on Monday.
The successful docking sets the stage for the launch of Atlantis in less than two weeks on the next station assembly flight --- to deliver the S0 (S-zero) centerpiece truss structure for the station that will be mated and outfitted to the Destiny Laboratory during four spacewalks. Launch of the STS-110 mission is tentatively set for April 4. A firm launch date is expected to be set this week following the traditional Flight Readiness Review by NASA managers at the Kennedy Space Center.