Russia launches cargo ship to the International Space Station

A Russian Progress cargo ship lifts off on Aug. 22 bound for the International Space Station. Image: NASA TV/Spaceflight Now.

A Russian Progress cargo ship blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Tuesday, Aug. 22 at 9:08 p.m. EDT (0108 UTC on Aug. 23) carrying supplies and equipment to the International Space Station.

The uncrewed spacecraft, which is carrying about three tons of cargo will make 34 orbits of Earth before using the Kours automated system to dock at the space station’s Zvezda module on Aug. 24 at 11:50 p.m. EDT (0350 UTC). The craft is expect to stay at the orbiting outpost for six months before departing on one final mission to dispose of the station’s trash in a fiery reentry.

NASA designates this mission Progress 85 but Russia uses the designation Progress MS-24. It will the 117th flight of a Progress spacecraft since its debut in 1978. The cargo freighter previously served the Salyut and Mir space stations launched during the era of the Soviet Union.