A brand new Russian Progress cargo ship launched into orbit Sunday evening (Feb. 14) to ship cargo to the seven crew members on the International Space Station. Russia’s area company Roscosmos launched the Progress MS-16 cargo ship, additionally known as Progress 77, on a Soyuz rocket from Site 31 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:45 p.m. EST (0445 GMT on Feb. 15, 10:45:06 a.m. Baikonur time). It will arrive on the station on Tuesday.Progress 77 is carrying roughly 5,424 lbs. (2,460 kg) of cargo and provides for the crew presently on board the station. That contains 3,086 lbs.(1,400 kg) of analysis and crew provides (like meals and clothes), together with a provide of fresh water, nitrogen fuel and propellant for the station’s Zvezda service module propulsion system.Video: Watch Russia’s Progress 77 cargo ship blast offRelated: How Russia’s Progress Cargo Ships Work (Infographic)A Russian Soyuz rocket launches the uncrewed Progress 77 cargo ship towards the International Space Station from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on Feb. 15, 2021 native time (Feb. 14 EST). (Image credit score: NASA TV)
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Tucked contained in the payload fairing of its Soyuz 2.1a launcher, the Progress MS-16 spacecraft rolled to the launch pad on Friday (Feb. 12), forward of its deliberate Sunday launch. This means floor crews might end their ultimate flight preparations.The Soyuz is a 152-foot-tall (46-meters) three-stage launch car. It was anticipated to head on a northeasterly trajectory after launch, jettisoning its 4 strap-on boosters roughly two minutes after liftoff. The rocket’s second stage, (additionally known as the core stage) is powered by one RD-108A engine designed to proceed firing for about three extra minutes earlier than handing the reins over to the rocket’s third stage — an RD-0110 engine. Once the rocket reached a sure altitude, the fairings fell away to expose the Progress MS-16 spacecraft, which separated from the booster’s higher stage 9 minutes into the flight to make its means to the area station.After separation, the Progress spacecraft ought to unfurl its photo voltaic arrays and navigation antennas. It will then align itself with the area station and put together for docking with the Russian-built Pirs module Tuesday (Feb. 16) at 1:20 a.m. EST (0620 GMT).The Pirs module is a docking port on the Zvezda service module that doubles as an airlock for station crewmembers to use when conducting Russian-led spacewalks. Pirs is scheduled to be eliminated when the Progress 77 spacecraft ends its mission in July. In its place, Roscosmos will deliver up a long-awaited new addition: the Nauka laboratory. This will mark the biggest addition to the Russian phase of the area station because the Zvezda module was put in in 2000. (There is one other, related port to Pirs, known as Poisk, that can stay on station.)Related: The International Space Station is now dwelling to the world’s 1st industrial airlockA sliver of the Earth may be seen within the prime proper on this digicam view from Progress 77 captured shortly after launch. One if its photo voltaic arrays is seen at left after unfolding. (Image credit score: NASA TV)The Progress spacecraft is an uncrewed freighter that appears very related to its crew-toting counterpart, the Soyuz spacecraft, which is used to ferry astronauts to and from the area station. The important distinction is that Progress is used to fly cargo and can be designed to fritter away because it re-enters Earth’s ambiance, whereas Soyuz will land again on land. Because Progress autos are disposable, they’re usually loaded with trash and different gadgets to be discarded earlier than setting off on a course to fritter away within the Earth’s ambiance, usually over a distant area of the Pacific Ocean. Progress 77 is the primary of two deliberate cargo deliveries to the area station inside every week. On Saturday (Feb. 20), a U.S.-built Cygnus spacecraft is slated to launch from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia by itself two-day journey to the area station. Follow Amy Thompson on Twitter @astrogingersnap. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.