Cargo freighter launches to space station Alpha
Posted: November 26, 2001

A Russian resupply craft successfully launched at 1824 GMT (1:24 p.m. EST) today from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying two-and-a-half tons of gear, fresh food, water and fuel for the International Space Station.

This is the sixth Progress vehicle dispatched to space station Alpha. Docking is slated for 1940 GMT (2:40 p.m. EST) Wednesday.

The vehicle will automatically link up to the aft docking port of the station's Zvezda service module. That port was freed up Thursday when the last Progress, packed with trash and unneeded equipment, was undocked and sent to burn up in the atmosphere.

A Soyuz rocket was used to launch the Progress into orbit. Monday's launch was the 11th Soyuz flight of 2001 and the 69th consecutive successful mission for the Soyuz family of launchers.

The launch also marked the second flight of a Soyuz vehicle equipped with modernized engines in the first and second stages. This updated version of Soyuz was qualified in flight last May.

The enhancements will also be used for Soyuz/ST rocket that is being developed by the Soyuz commercial marketing consortium.