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Proton lofts Amazonas
A Russian Proton M rocket launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying the Amazonas communications satellite that will serve the Americas and Europe. (2min 25sec file)
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Proton preview
This narrated animation profiles the mission of a Proton rocket launching the Amazonas communications satellite. (2min 27sec file)
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Rocket rollout
The fully assembled Proton rocket is rolled to launch pad for its flight to place the Amazonas spacecraft into orbit. (41sec file)
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MESSENGER lifts off
The Boeing Delta 2-Heavy rocket launches at 2:16 a.m. EDT carrying the NASA's MESSENGER space probe from Cape Canaveral, Florida. (5min 23sec file)
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Cocoa Beach view
The Cocoa Beach tracking camera site captured this beautiful view of the launch and separation of the ground-ignited solid rocket boosters. (1min 31sec file)
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Next station crew
Expedition 10 Commander and NASA ISS Science Officer Leroy Chiao and Soyuz Commander and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov discuss their planned six-month mission on the space station. (11min 23sec file)
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Cargo freighter en route to International Space Station
Posted: August 11, 2004

A resupply vessel filled with three tons of food, water, equipment and fuel began its three-day trek to the International Space Station today, blasting off aboard a Russian rocket.

Launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Central Asia occurred on schedule at 0503 GMT (1:03 a.m. EDT). Within nine minutes the cargo craft achieved into its initial orbit around Earth and was deployed from the unmanned Soyuz rocket.

At the time of launch, the station was flying southwest of Baikonur at an altitude of 230 statute miles.

The freighter is known in the station's assembly sequence as Progress 15P -- the fifteenth resupply mission to the outpost. It is called Progress M-50 by the Russians.

A fully automated docking to the aft port of the space station's Russian Zvezda service module is planned for Friday night/Saturday morning at 0502 GMT (1:02 a.m. EDT).

That docking port was vacated July 30 when the Progress 14P (M-49) undocked the station with a load of trash and unneeded equipment. Later, the freighter fired its engines to brake from orbit and plunged into the atmosphere where it burned up.

With the U.S. space shuttle fleet grounded until at least next spring, the International Space Station program is fully reliant upon the Russian Progress ships to keep the outpost stocked with supplies for its crews and propellant for the station's steering jets.

The station's current residents -- commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineer Michael Fincke -- are four months into a planned half-year voyage aboard the lab complex as the Expedition 9 crew.

This latest Progress carries 3,042 pounds of dry cargo, 926 pounds of water, 110 pounds of oxygen and air and 1,521 pounds of propellant.

In addition to the usual assortment of food, hardware and experiments, the dry cargo includes replacement components for the U.S. and Russian life support systems and new cooling pumps for American spacewalk suits. Also aboard are supplies and clothing for the Expedition 10 crew of commander Leroy Chiao and flight engineer Salizhan Sharipov. The two men are scheduled to ride a Soyuz capsule to the station in October, replacing Padalka and Fincke.

The following timeline shows the key events scheduled from launch until docking for the Progress freighter:

Day 1 events - Wednesday

Event Mission Time Eastern TimeGMT
LAUNCH 0/00:00:00 01:03:07 a.m. 0503:07
Orbit Insertion 0/00:08:45 01:11:52 a.m. 0511:52
Maneuver DV1
(17.59 m/s)
0/03:35:00 04:38:07 a.m. 0838:07
Maneuver DV2
(11.61 m/s)
0/04:10:26 05:13:33 a.m. 0913:33

Day 2 events - Thursday

Event Mission Time Eastern TimeGMT
Maneuver DV3
(4.50 m/s)
1/00:01:44 01:04:51 a.m. 0504:51

Day 3 events - Friday/Saturday

Event Mission Time Eastern TimeGMT
(4.00 m/s)
2/00:51:32 01:54:39 a.m. 0554:39
Start Automated
2/21:29:16 10:32:23 p.m. 0232:23
Station maneuver
to docking attitude
2/21:43:53 10:47:00 p.m. 0247:00
DV5 / Impulse 1
(14.150 m/s)
2/21:49:54 10:53:01 p.m. 0253:01
Progress Kurs-A
2/22:11:53 11:15:00 p.m. 0315:00
Impulse 2
(1.248 m/s)
2/22:12:24 11:15:31 p.m. 0315:31
Zvezda Kurs-P
2/22:13:53 11:17:00 p.m. 0317:00
DV6 / Impulse 3
(25.506 m/s)
2/22:36:01 11:39:08 p.m. 0339:08
Orbital sunset 2/23:00:04 00:03:11 a.m. 0403:11
Kurs-A & Kurs-P
short test
Range 15 km
2/23:02:53 00:06:00 a.m. 0406:00
TORU command
link activation
Range 9 km
2/23:08:53 00:12:00 a.m. 0412:00
Progress TV
Range 8 km
2/23:09:53 00:13:00 a.m. 0413:00
Impulse 4
(6.881 m/s)
2/23:17:03 00:20:10 a.m. 0420:10
Ballistic Targeting
2/23:19:16 00:22:23 a.m. 0422:23
Impulse 5
(4.593 m/s)
2/23:23:20 00:26:27 a.m. 0426:27
Impulse 6
(2.184 m/s)
2/23:25:12 00:28:19 a.m. 0428:19
Start flyaround
2/23:27:21 00:30:28 a.m. 0430:28
Orbital sunrise 2/23:34:21 00:37:28 a.m. 0437:28
Start stationkeeping 2/23:36:21 00:39:28 a.m. 0439:28
In range of Russian
ground stations
2/23:49:40 00:48:49 a.m. 0448:49
Start final approach 2/23:49:40 00:52:47 a.m. 0452:47
DOCKING 2/23:58:53 01:02:00 a.m. 0502:00

Data source: NASA.