A little while ago the Progress MS-10 spacecraft blasted off atop a Soyuz FG rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. After about nine minutes it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage and was placed on its route. The cargo spacecraft began its resupply mission to the International Space Station also called Progress 70 or 70P.
The Progress MS-10 cargo spacecraft is carrying a total of almost 2,450 kilograms (5,400 lbs) of various types of supply including food, water, air, oxygen, propellant and more such as a series of products for the International Space Station crew, various science experiments, tools and various hardware.
After the failure of the October 11 launch of two astronauts to the International Space Station, the Russian space agency Roscosmos needs new successes. The investigation of the mishap found that the problem, with one of the side boosters that didn’t come off properly, clashing with the Soyuz rocket’s first stage, was due to a human error in the installation of a sensor. It’s not the first time in recent years that a Russian rocket launch fails because there was insufficient care in quality controls.
The only positive news is that Roscosmos decided that there were no reasons to keep its rockets grounded so launches were quickly resumed. However, for this mission of the Progress space cargo ship the agency’s trying to limit the risks as much as possible. This means that on this occasion the Progress MS-10 travels on the 2-day track, not the 6-hour fast-trace and even less even faster one experimented only once.
With only 3 crew members aboard the International Space Station, supplies are less important and their tasks are slowed down. However it’s important that the Soyuz rockets resume flying normally in order to proceed with sending new crew members and try to normalize their rotation as soon as possible.
The Progress MS-10 cargo spacecraft is scheduled to reach the International Space Station on Sunday, around 19.30 UTC. The Progress has an automated docking system so it will reach the Zvezda module on its own.