A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch a Progress cargo delivery spacecraft to the International Space Station. A Russian resupply and refueling freighter stacked with 2.7 tons of cargo, propellant, water and oxygen for the International Space Station is in position on a launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for liftoff Friday on board a Soyuz booster.
The three-stage rocket turned out to Launch Pad No. 31 at Baikonur Tuesday, riding a rail car at dawn from the Soyuz sponsor’s assembly building, or MIK. Once at the pad, the Soyuz was lifted vertically by hydraulic lifts and suspended over a huge fire bucket carved from the bedrock of the Kazakh steppe.
Gantry arms were raised into position around the Soyuz-2.1a launcher to give Russian specialists access to the rocket for final checkouts and inspections.
The Soyuz will be stacked with kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants during a countdown Friday, setting the stage for ignition of rocket’s core stage engine and four liquid-fueled strap-on boosters. Liftoff is timed for 4:34:11 a.m. EST (0934:11 GMT; 2:34:11 p.m. Baikonur time) to start the 74th Russian Progress resupply mission the International Space Station.
The RD-107A engines on the Soyuz rocket’s four first-stage supporters will close down and jettison around two minutes after liftoff, while a four-nozzle RD-108A engine on the core stage keeps firing. A protective aerodynamic cover will at that point fall away from the top of the rocket to uncover the Progress MS-13 spacecraft.
The core stage will close down and isolate almost five minutes after liftoff, offering a route to an RD-0110 engine on the Soyuz third stage to infuse the Progress freighter into orbit. Separation of the Progress cargo craft from the Soyuz third stage is booked almost nine minutes into the mission.
Minutes after separation, the Progress will spread out its two power-generating solar array wings and route antennas. Russian ground controllers will manage a sequence of thruster burns to align the cargo ship’s orbit with that of the space station, situating the Progress freighter for docking with the Pirs module on the orbiting research lab Monday at 5:38 a.m. EST (1038 GMT).
The Progress cargo freighter’s docking at the station is scheduled a day after the arranged appearance of a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule, giving the station’s six-man team consecutive shipments of fresh supplies and examinations.
Russian cosmonauts will unpack somewhere in the range of 3,000 pounds (1,350 kilograms) of dry cargo stowed inside the Progress MS-13 spacecraft’s pressurized compartment. The mission will likewise deliver 1,433 pounds (650 kilograms) of propellant to refuel the propulsion system on the station’s Russian segment, alongside 926 pounds (420 kilograms) of water and 110 pounds (50 kilograms) of oxygen.
The gear to be delivered to the station by the Progress MS-13 spacecraft incorporates a new track for a treadmill utilized by cosmonauts for work out.
The Russian resupply vessel is scheduled to leave the space station next July with a load of trash to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.