Saturday, September 11, 2010

Russian Freighter Aims For Station Docking Early Sunday

A robotic Russian cargo carrier is cruising toward an early Sunday docking at the International Space Station with tons of supplies and equipment onboard.

Look for the Progress 39 space freighter to start making its final approach to the international outpost about 7:15 a.m. EDT -- the time live NASA TV coverage will come up here in The Flame Trench.

Just click the NASA TV box on the right side of page to launch our NASA TV viewer and live coverage.

Docking is slated for 7:58 a.m.

The docking attempt will be the first since a July 2 link-up was aborted as a result of a failure in the spacecraft's automatic docking system. Telemetry data between the ship and the station was lost as the Progress 38 vehicle approached the outpost. The vehicle, however, passed by the station at a safe distance and neither the outpost or its crew were ever in danger. The problem was corrected and the Progress 38 ultimately docked at the station two days later.

The Progress spacecraft headed for a docking early Sunday is hauling up 1,918 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 375 pounds of water and 2,645 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware and other supplies.

Onboard the station now are three Russian cosmonauts and three American astronauts: Alexander Skvortsov, Mikhail Kornienko and Fyodor Yurchikhin; and Tracy Caldwell-Dyson, Shannon Walker and Douglas Wheelock.

The station has been continuously staffed with resident crew members since Nov. 1, 2000.

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