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New Russian Resupply Vehicle Docks to Station
ISS Progress 40 cargo craft

Image above: The ISS Progress 40 resupply vehicle approaches the International Space Station for docking. Credit: NASA TV

The 40th ISS Progress resupply vehicle docked to the Pirs docking compartment of the International Space Station at 12:36 p.m. EDT Saturday. Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri took over manual control to guide the Progress to its final connection.

Progress 40 brings to the orbiting complex 1,918 pounds of propellant, 1,100 pounds of oxygen, 498 pounds of water and 2,804 pounds of food, spare parts, experiment hardware and other supplies for the station’s six crew members.

After conducting leak checks at the docking interface and opening the hatch to the resupply vehicle, the crew members began the long process of unloading the cargo. Once emptied, Progress 40 will be filled with trash and station discards and deorbited to burn in the Earth’s atmosphere like its predecessors.

The ISS Progress 40 launched at 11:11 a.m. Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The resupply vehicle that previously occupied the Pirs docking compartment, ISS Progress 37, undocked from the station on Oct. 25. It will spend three weeks orbiting a safe distance from the station to enable Russian engineers to conduct technology experiments before being deorbited and sent to a fiery demise in the Earth’s atmosphere Nov. 15.

› Read more about the Progress spacecraft