Capability: ISS Logistics
Maiden Flight: 1978-01-20
Flight Life: 6 Months docked to ISS
Payload Capacity: 1700
A Russian Progress cargo spacecraft is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station Wednesday, July 31. Live coverage of the resupply craft’s launch and docking will begin at 7:45 a.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
The Progress 73 spacecraft will lift off at 8:10 a.m., on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan (5:10 p.m. Baikonur time) loaded with almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the residents of the orbiting laboratory.
The spacecraft will arrive at the station three hours after launch and connect to the Pirs docking compartment on the Russian segment of the complex. Rendezvous and docking coverage will begin at 10:45 a.m., with docking scheduled for 11:35 a.m.
Progress is derived from the manned Soyuz spacecraft and is launched on the same vehicle, a Soyuz rocket. The bureau in charge of designing the freighter was TsKBEM (now RKK Energia). They began work on the design in mid-1973. Maiden flight was achieved on January 20, 1978. Still in use today, it has gone through six changes to its design, each improving on the last.
The purpose of Progress is to deliver supplies needed to sustain human presence in orbit. Currently it is used as a re-supply spacecraft for the ISS.
Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS)
The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities, commonly known as Roscosmos, is the governmental body responsible for the space science program of the Russian Federation and general aerospace research. Soyuz has many launch locations the Russian sites are Baikonur, Plesetsk and Vostochny however Ariane also purchases the vehicle and launches it from French Guiana.