Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cargo ship docks successfully at ISS

An unmanned Russian resupply ship has docked successfully with the International Space Station.

The Progress 33 vehicle hooked up with the station's Pirs compartment at 3:24 p.m. EDT, more than 200 miles above the China/Mongolia border.

"Capture confirmed," said Russian cosmonaut and station commander and Gennady Padalka through a translater.

Padalka was poised to take manual control of the ship, as his Russian predecessor on the station, Yury Lonchakov, had to do with Progress 31 last November. But the robotic approach was executed flawlessly.

The newest Progress delivered about 2.5 tons of food, including fresh fruit, and propellant and other supplies.

"We're happy to see our apples have arrived," one of the station crew members said.

Padalka is joined on the station by American astronaut Michael Barratt and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata.

The supplies are needed as the station prepares to double the size of permanent crews from three to six people later this month.

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