Much like having to go to the gas station to pump your car full of gas after a long trip, the International Space Station happens to run low on food, fuel, and uses up scientific experiments as time goes by. And as a result, every so often the International Space Station needs a rocket to send fresh new supplies to the astronauts that are on board.
This weekend, a Russian supply capsule was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to send said supplies off to the International Space Station.
Image Credit: NASA TV
The Progress 64P cargo craft, which was attached to a Russian Soyuz-U rocket, blasted off from the launch pad at 5:41 P.M. EDT on July 17th and is a part of a two-day mission to resupply the International Space Station.
Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, notes that the contents of the resupply capsule include the following:
Right now, the cargo craft is currently in orbit around the earth, and NASA says that its solar arrays and communication antennas have been extended successfully. The International Space Station will dock with the resupply craft on Monday, at what is estimated to occur around 8:22 P.M.
After all of the important supplies have been carried over to the International Space Station from the capsule, the Progress 64P cargo craft will remain docked with the International Space Station until January, which is when it will be disconnected and allowed to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.
Clearing the cargo bay door is important, because doing so allows future resupply missions to continue to dock in the future. The reason it will remain attached to the International Space Station for so long is so that waste products and trash can be stored inside of it so all of it burns up in the atmosphere upon re-entry.
On board the International Space Station right now, following the recent Expedition 48-49 mission, are the following astronauts and cosmonauts: