An unmanned Russian resupply ship smoothly linked up to the International Space Station this morning, delivering 2-1/2 tons of food, fuel, spare parts and supplies to the two residents on board.
With Expedition 8 Commander and NASA Science Officer Mike Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri looking on, the ISS Progress 13 docked to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module at 7:13 a.m. CST (1313 GMT) as the two craft flew 230 statute miles above Central Asia.
Foale and Kaleri were in Zvezda, prepared to take over manual control of the operation if it had been necessary, but the Progress craft automatically docked to the module through pre-programmed computer command with no problem.
The Progress was the first ship to arrive at the ISS since Foale and Kaleri were launched more than 100 days ago. They are well past the midway mark of a planned 6-½ month mission on the complex. The next ship to reach the Station will be the Soyuz TMA-4 capsule in April, carrying a new crew to replace Foale and Kaleri.
After leak checks are completed to insure a tight seal between Progress and the ISS, Kaleri will open up the ship’s hatch later today so he and Foale can begin unloading its cargo on Sunday. The cargo includes spare parts for environmental systems and a new flex hose to help vent condensation and air from the Destiny Laboratory’s optically pure viewing window. A small leak in an identical flex hose was found to have caused a slight pressure decay in the ISS earlier this month.
Information on the crew's activities aboard the Space Station, future launch dates, as well as Station sighting opportunities from anywhere on the Earth, is available on the Internet at:
Details on Station science operations can be found on an Internet site administered by the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., at:
The next ISS status report will be issued on Friday, Feb. 6, or earlier, if events warrant.
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