A Russian cargo ship linked up with the international space station April 9 to deliver tons of vital supplies during a swift, six-hour trip to the orbiting outpost.
The unmanned Progress 55 spacecraft docked with the space station at 5:14 p.m. EDT, nearly six hours after launching into orbit atop a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:26 a.m. EDT. It was 9:26 p.m. local time in Baikonur at the time of the launch.
The Progress 55 spacecraft performed flawlessly during the docking during its “silky smooth six-hour adventure,” NASA spokesman Rob Navias said during live NASA TV commentary.
Progress 55 (also known as the Progress M-23M) brought 800 kilograms of propellant, 420 kilograms of water, 48 kilograms of oxygen and 1,400 kilograms of other supplies like food and materials for science experiments to the six crew members living and working on the station today. NASA’s Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson; Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov, Mikhail Tyurin and Oleg Artemyev; and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata make up the station’s Expedition 39 crew.
Russia’s Progress vehicles have been making the quick, six-hour trips to the station since 2012. The manned Soyuz capsules that ferry astronauts and cosmonauts to and from the station have done the same express flight since 2013. Before the fast-tracked arrivals, Progress and Soyuz spacecraft took two days to reach the station after launch.