After spending two days catching up with the International Space Station, an automated Russian cargo freighter rendezvoused and docked with the outpost to supply the Expedition 53 crew with food and supplies.
Progress MS-07 docked with the Pirs module on the Russian Orbital Segment of the space station. Contact came at 7:04 a.m. EDT (11:04 GMT) Oct. 16, 2017. Once hatches between the two spacecraft are open, the crew will begin to transfer the pressurized cargo into the outpost.
The automated spacecraft has aboard about 2.7 metric tons of supplies, including 880 kilograms of propellant, 23 kilograms of oxygen, 420 kilograms of water, and 1,350 kilograms of food and other equipment for the six-person crew.
Once the cargo is transferred out, the crew will begin the process of loading the spacecraft with trash and unneeded equipment. The vehicle will remain attached to the outpost for more than six months before being undocked and commanded to enter Earth’s atmosphere for a destructive reentry.
While the spacecraft arrived at the outpost within 34 orbits after launching from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, this cargo run was originally supposed to try out a new 2-orbit rendezvous profile to arrive only 3.5 hours after liftoff. However, the first launch attempt of the Soyuz 2.1a carrier rocket, which occurred on Oct. 12, 2107, was scrubbed within the last minute of the countdown due to an undisclosed issue. Additionally, the alignment of the space station on the Oct. 14, 2017, launch was not favorable for a fast-rendezvous technique.
The Russian space agency’s next potential attempt for this 3.5-hour rendezvous profile will come in February 2018 when its next cargo spacecraft, Progress MS-08, launches from Kazakhstan.
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!