Russian cargo launch clears way for crew’s trip

Progress launch
Russia’s Soyuz rocket lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, sending a Progress cargo ship to the International Space Station. (Roscosmos / NASA via YouTube)

Russia successfully launched an uncrewed Progress cargo spaceship today to the International Space Station, using a Soyuz rocket similar to the one that malfunctioned last month.

No issues arose during the craft’s ascent to orbit from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, boosting mission managers’ confidence that the malfunction had been addressed and that a crewed Soyuz launch planned for next month could proceed.

“A perfect 8-minute, 45-second flight on a brisk day over in Baikonur,” NASA launch commentator Gary Jordan said after the 10:14 a.m. PT launch.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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