A Russian cargo ship is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) to deliver nearly three tons of food, fuel and equipment for the Expedition 34 crew.
Progress M-18M, the 50th Russian unmanned craft to bring supplies to the ISS, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 8:41 a.m. CST (1441 GMT; 8:41 p.m. Kazakhstan time) Monday (Feb. 11) on an accelerated, four-orbit journey to rendezvous with the orbiting complex.
The freighter is scheduled to dock to the Pirs docking compartment at 2:40 p.m. CST (2040 GMT), delivering 764 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen and air, 926 pounds of water and 3,000 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware and logistics equipment — 2.9 tons of supplies in all.
That docking port on Pirs was most recently occupied by the M-16M (48P) craft, which undocked on Saturday after spending six months at the station.
Aboard the station’s Zvezda service module, Expedition 34 flight engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin will monitor Progress M-18M's approach using the telerobotic TORU system. The Progress is designed to dock automatically via the Kurs automated rendezvous system, but the crew can use TORU to take over should difficulties arise.