From: Johnson Space Center
Posted: Saturday, December 25, 2004
A new Russian cargo spacecraft is now docked with the International Space Station. The Progress vehicle and Station successfully linked up this evening, completing a two-day Christmas journey to deliver 5,000 pounds of food, fuel, oxygen, water, supplies and holiday gifts to the Expedition 10 crew.
The Progress automatically docked to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module at 6:58 p.m. EST as the Station flew 225 statute miles over central Asia. Within minutes, hooks and latches between the two ships engaged, forming a tight seal. The docking occurred about 30 minutes later than planned so that the linkup could occur over Russian ground stations with the benefit of television from the cargo ship and real-time data. This is the 16th Progress to dock with the Station.
As the Progress moved in for its linkup, Expedition 10 Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov was at the controls of a manual docking system in Zvezda, ready to take over the Progress' final approach in the unlikely event its automated docking system encountered a problem. But the docking was flawless. Expedition 10 Commander and NASA Station Science Officer Leroy Chiao was nearby, taking video and still photos of the Progress arrival.
Launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday, the Progress is loaded with 1,234 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen and air to help maintain the Station's atmosphere, 926 pounds of water and more than 2,700 pounds of spare parts, life support system components and experiment hardware. The manifest also includes 69 containers of food, which is about a 112-day supply.
After an extended sleep period this evening, the crew will be awakened tomorrow morning to conduct leak checks at the hatch interface between the Progress and Zvezda. They will open the Progress hatch shortly after 1 p.m. EST tomorrow to begin unloading its cargo.
Among the new items that arrived at the Station are laptop computers, new spares for U.S. spacesuits and components for the arrival next year of the European Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo spacecraft.
Information about crew activities on the Space Station, future launch dates and Station sighting opportunities from Earth, is available on the Internet at:
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