Watch Russian cargo craft launch toward space station today (Image Credit: Space.com)
A robotic Russian cargo craft will launch toward the International Space Station on Wednesday (May 24), and you can watch the liftoff live.
You can watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA, or directly via the space agency. Coverage will begin at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT).
The cargo ship’s journey to the International Space Station will last less than 3.5 hours: Progress 84 is scheduled to dock with the orbiting lab’s Poisk module at 12:20 p.m. EDT (1620 GMT) on Wednesday.
You can watch that off-Earth rendezvous here at Space.com as well, via NASA TV. Docking coverage will begin at 11:30 a.m. EDT (1530 GMT).
Progress 84 is packed with 5,492 pounds (2,491 kilograms) of food, water, propellant, cosmonaut clothing and other supplies, according to EverydayAstronaut.com.
The freighter is also carrying a variety of scientific gear, including “a launch device with a nanosatellite intended for the Parus-MGTU experiment (conducted by the N.E. Bauman Moscow State Technical University). Cosmonauts will launch it to test the technology of deploying a solar sail,” EverydayAstronaut.com wrote.
The Progress vehicle, which began flying in 1978, is one of three robotic spacecraft that currently deliver cargo to the ISS. The other two are private American vehicles — SpaceX’s Dragon capsule and Northop Grumman’s Cygnus craft.
Progress and Cygnus are expendable, burning up in Earth’s atmosphere when their time in orbit is up. Dragon, however, is reusable, coming back down in soft, parachute-aided ocean splashdowns.