Progress docking marks second cargo ship arrival at space station in two days

The Progress MS-13 spacecraft moves in for docking Monday at the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV/Spaceflight Now

An automated Progress cargo freighter docked with the International Space Station Monday to deliver 2.7 tons of supplies, fuel, water and oxygen to the orbiting research complex.

The Progress MS-13 spacecraft concluded a three-day pursuit of the space station with an automated link-up with the Pirs docking compartment on the orbiting outpost at 5:38 a.m. EST (1038 GMT) as the vehicles soared 261 miles (420 kilometers) over the Yellow Sea east of Shanghai.

The docking of the Progress spaceship marked the second cargo craft to arrive at the space station in two days, following the delivery of nearly three tons of supplies aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft Sunday.

Some 5,571 pounds (2,526 kilograms) of dry cargo, propellant, water and oxygen were loaded inside the Progress MS-13 spacecraft to replenish stocks on the space station, according to NASA.

The Progress M-13 spacecraft lifted off Friday aboard a Russian Soyuz-2.1a booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It is the 74th Progress supply ship to launch on a mission to the International Space Station.

Together, the back-to-back deliveries by the Dragon and Progress supply ships transported nearly six tons of equipment and provisions for the station and its six-person crew.

Russian cosmonauts will unpack some 3,000 pounds (1,350 kilograms) of dry cargo stowed inside the Progress MS-13 spacecraft’s pressurized compartment. The mission also delivered 1,433 pounds (650 kilograms) of propellant to refuel the propulsion system on the station’s Russian segment, along with 926 pounds (420 kilograms) of water and 110 pounds (50 kilograms) of oxygen.

The gear delivered to the station by the Progress MS-13 spacecraft included a new track for a treadmill used by cosmonauts for exercise.

The Russian resupply vessel is slated to depart the space station next July with a load of trash to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

With Monday’s docking of the Progress MS-13 spacecraft, the International Space Station has five visiting vehicles docked on-board. Along with the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship, there is a Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply freighter and two Russian Soyuz crew ferry ships attached to the 450-ton orbiting research lab.

Email the author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.