Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

Progress links up with Mir
Posted: Feb. 3, 2000

The Russian space station Mir as seen by a U.S. space shuttle. Photo: NASA
An unmanned Progress cargo freighter smoothly docked to the Russian space station Mir today, Russian news reports said.

The craft was launched into space two days ago atop a Russian Soyuz rocket.

The Progress is loaded with supplies and equipment to be used by a new Mir crew expected to arrive at the station in late March for a two-month mission.

Mir was abandoned last August, but planning is underway to reopen the 14-year old outpost, potentially for commercial endeavors.

The station was battered by a series of computer breakdowns, a dangerous fire and collision with a previous Progress ship over the past few years.

In other Russian space news, a Zenit rocket is scheduled for launch today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying a classified military payload. The launch has been planned for Wednesday but a power problem at Baikonur forced a one-day delay, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

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