Space station crew await Russian cargo delivery

Washington, Feb 24 (IANS) With the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft docked to the International Space Station on Thursday, the crew are now focusing on a Russian cargo delivery, which is scheduled to arrive on Friday, NASA said.

The Russian Progress 66 was launched on Wednesday from Kazakhstan.

Carrying almost three tonnes of food, fuel and supplies to the Expedition 50 crew, it is scheduled to arrive at the ISS on Friday for an automated docking at 3:34 a.m. EST (2.04 p.m. India time), the US space agency said.

Progress 66 will remain docked at the station for almost four months before departing in June for its deorbit into the Earth’s atmosphere.

This was the first launch of a Progress cargo ship from Baikonur launch station in Kazakhstan since the Progress 65 supply craft was lost on December 1, 2016.

SpaceX Dragon cargo craft earlier aborted its first docking attempt with the International Space Station on Wednesday as it received an incorrect navigational update. But the cargo carrier was successfully berthed to the station on Thursday.

The Dragon cargo craft carried about 2,500 kg of experimental equipment and supplies as part of the mission.