Russian cargo ship launches toward the ISS early Thursday morning (video)


A Russian cargo ship will launched toward the International Space Station early Thursday morning (May 30).

The robotic Progress 88 freighter lifted off atop a Soyuz rocket from the Russia-run Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday at 5:43 a.m. EDT (0943 GMT; 2:43 p.m. local time at Baikonur).

Progress 88 is packed with about 3 tons of food, propellant, and other supplies for the astronauts living aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Related: Facts about Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency

The Progress 88 freighter launches on its journey to the International Space Station on Thursday (May 30)The Progress 88 freighter launches on its journey to the International Space Station on Thursday (May 30)

The Progress 88 freighter launches on its journey to the International Space Station on Thursday (May 30)

With the launch going according to plan, the freighter will now deliver this bounty to the ISS on Saturday (June 1). It’s scheduled to dock to the space-facing port of the orbiting lab’s Poisk module that day at 7:47 a.m. EDT (1147 GMT), according to NASA officials. You can watch this rendezvous live as well; coverage will begin Saturday at 7:00 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT).

Progress 88 will stay at the ISS for about six months. Astronauts will then fill the freighter with trash and it will head back down toward Earth, ultimately burning up in our planet’s atmosphere.

The Progress 88 freighter streaks through the sky on Thursday (May 30) on its way to the ISSThe Progress 88 freighter streaks through the sky on Thursday (May 30) on its way to the ISS

The Progress 88 freighter streaks through the sky on Thursday (May 30) on its way to the ISS

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Three robotic spacecraft currently ferry cargo to the ISS: Progress, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus vehicle and SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon capsule. Cygnus and Progress are designed for one-time use, whereas Dragon is reusable; it returns safely to Earth for parachute-aided ocean splashdowns.

Two freighters are docked at the ISS at the moment — Progress 87 and a Cygnus — and Progress 86 just departed on Tuesday (May 28). The orbiting lab also currently hosts two crewed spacecraft: the Crew Dragon that’s flying SpaceX’s Crew-8 astronaut mission for NASA and a Russian Soyuz vehicle.



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