Progress Docks with Space Station
A new Progress docked to the International Space Station at 9:59 p.m. EST Friday with more than 2.5 tons of fuel, oxygen, other supplies and equipment aboard.
The station's 24th Progress unpiloted cargo carrier brings to the orbiting laboratory more than 1,720 pounds of propellant, about 110 pounds of oxygen, and 3,285 pounds of dry cargo – a total of 5,115 pounds.
Image at right: Artist's rendering of the International Space Station following scheduled activities of Jan. 16, 2007. Progress 22 resupply vehicle undocks from the Pirs Docking Compartment. Progress 23 remains connected to the Zvezda Service Module aft port. Image credit: NASA.
P24 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday at 9:12 p.m. It reached the station after a flight of just over two days.
The spacecraft used the automated Kurs system to dock at the Pirs Docking Compartment. Expedition 14 flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin stood by at the manual Toru docking system controls, should his intervention have become necessary.
Expedition 14 crew members, Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria, Tyurin and Flight Engineer Sunita Williams, finished filling P24's sister cargo carrier ISS Progress 22, with trash and other discards for its Jan. 16 undocking from Pirs and subsequent destruction on re-entry.
Image at left: Artist's rendering of the International Space Station following scheduled activities of Jan. 19, 2007. Progress 24 resupply vehicle docks to the Pirs Docking Compartment (lower left). Progress 23 remains connected to the Zvezda Service Module aft port. Image credit: NASA.
After its unloading P22 was used as a storage area for a while. Many items brought to the station aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-121 in July eventually found a temporary home there until crew members could put them in more permanent places.
ISS Progress 23 remains at the aft compartment of the Zvezda Service Module. It is scheduled to undock in April.
The Progress is similar in appearance and some design elements to the Soyuz spacecraft, which brings crew members to the station, serves as a lifeboat while they are there and returns them to Earth. The aft module, the instrumentation and propulsion module, is nearly identical.
But the second of the three Progress sections is a refueling module, and the third, uppermost as the Progress sits on the launch pad, is a cargo module. On the Soyuz, the descent module, where the crew is seated on launch and which returns them to Earth, is the middle module and the third is called the orbital module.