On Feb. 24, 2017, the uncrewed Russian Progress MS-05 resupply spacecraft docked with the International Space Station. The automated link-up with the Pirs docking compartment took place at 3:30 a.m. EST (08:30 GMT) while flying over the south Pacific Ocean.
The Progress docking probe then retracted to pull the cargo ship in closer to allow for the hooks between the two spacecraft to latch. That hard mate took place at 3:36 a.m. EST (08:36 GMT). Leak checks will occur over the next few hours before the crew opens the hatch.
Launched on Feb. 22, 2017, from Site 1/5 at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Progress MS-05 is carrying about 2,450 kilograms of supplies, consumables and propellant for the Expedition 50 crew.
It will remain attached to the orbiting laboratory until June. In the mean time, its contents will be unloaded and then reloaded with trash and other unneeded equipment. Once the freighter undocks, it will be commanded to de-orbit over the southern Pacific Ocean.
Progress MS-05’s Friday-morning docking came less than 24 hours after SpaceX’s CRS-10 Dragon capsule was captured and berthed to the U.S. side of the ISS. There are now four vehicles attached to the outpost. The other two are the crewed Soyuz MS-02 and MS-03.
This was the first of any Russian spacecraft to dock with the ISS since the ill-fated Progress MS-04 launch. On that flight a malfunction in the Soyuz-U carrier rocket’s second stage prevented the vehicle from reaching orbit.
This is the 157th Progress spacecraft to launch since the cargo freighter began flying in 1978. This is also the 68th to service the ISS.
The next cargo run to the space station is expected to be the OA-7 Cygnus spacecraft. It is scheduled to launch March 19, 2017, atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Video courtesy of NASA
NOTE: While this article was written by Derek Richardson, it was originally published at SpaceFlight Insider. Feel free to head over there to read all the stuff they write about!