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Progress 14 Arrives at Space Station
It wasn't Christmas in May, but it might have been the next best thing. An unpiloted Russian cargo craft smoothly linked up to the International Space Station Thursday morning, delivering 2.5 tons of food, fuel, water, equipment and supplies to the two crewmembers.

A Progress cargo ship departs the International Space Station.Image on right: In this view from a camera on the ISS Progress 14 spacecraft, the cross hairs close in on the aft end of the International Space Station's Zvezda Service Module before docking. Credit: NASA TV.

Also aboard were food treats, requested DVD movies and books.

With Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Fincke monitoring its arrival, the Progress 14 docked to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module at 9:55 a.m. EDT, 230 statute miles above Central Asia.

Padalka and Fincke had been ready to take over manual control of the Progress if necessary. But the cargo craft's automatic docking system brought it to the docking port just as programmed.

The Progress launched Tuesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan was the first spacecraft to arrive at the ISS since Padalka and Fincke were launched last month. After hatch opening later Thursday, Padalka and Fincke will spend the next few days unloading the Progress.

Its predecessor, Progress 13, was undocked from the ISS on Monday. With a load of trash aboard, it was moved to a parking orbit where Russian engineers are doing tests aimed at developing methods for future Progresses to save fuel. Progress 13 will be deorbited on June 3 to burn up in the atmosphere.