The unmanned Progress M-24M (56P) resupply spacecraft, packed with nearly three tons of cargo for the Expedition 40 crew, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Wednesday (July 23) at 4:44 p.m. CDT (3:44 a.m. July 24, Kazakh time) to begin a 6-hour, four-orbit flight to the International Space Station.
A series of thruster firings by the Progress over the next several hours will adjust the orbit to put the Russian space freighter on track for a rendezvous with the station and an automated docking to the Earth-facing port of the Pirs docking compartment at 10:30 p.m. CDT (0330 GMT).
The new Progress is loaded with 1,764 pounds of propellant, 48 pounds of oxygen, 57 pounds of air, 926 pounds of water and 2,910 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware and other supplies for the Expedition 40 crew. Flight engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Max Suraev will open the hatch to Progress Thursday morning to begin unloading the cargo.
Progress M-24M is slated to spend about three months docked to the complex.