After the failure of the Soyuz-2-1A rocket in April and that of the Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday, the ISS will finally be resupplied through the successful launch of the older version Soyuz-U Rocket launched today.
The unmanned cargo ship was successfully launched this morning by a Soyuz rocket, reaching its target in orbit from where the Progress re-supply ship will continue its journey to the ISS. The launch was made from a Russian platform in Baikonur Kazakhstan.
The Mission Control Center, reported that systems are functional and the antennas of the Progress craft docking system have been successfully deployed. The craft and it’s resupply materials are expected to reach the ISS on Sunday July 5.
These supplies are more than welcome and although the mission was crucial it was not in any way an emergency, since the ISS has reserve supplies that can last until September according to some sources.
After the failed mission using the Soyuz rocket on April 28 , NASA stated that the ISS segments belonging to the Russians and Americans will “continue to operate normally and are adequately supplied well beyond the next planned resupply flight.”
The ISS has back-up supplies for exactly these kind of emergencies. In a presentation to the Advisory Council , NASA stated that the food supplies on the ISS would be optimal until July 24 after which the “reserve levels” could be used until September 5.
Water and other consumables will not require the use of “reserve levels” until early 2016, while the solid waste containers would require the use of reserves beginning on July 20.
The critical nature of this morning’s Soyuz launch mission was brought on by the failures of two previous attempts to resupply the ISS. The first resupply attempt was made on April 28 by a more modern Soyuz-2-1A which unfortunately encountered problems when separating culminating in an uncontrollable spin of the Progress capsule that carried the supplies.
The Second attempt to resupply the ISS was made on Sunday the 28th of June by a Falcon 9 rocket belonging to the private company SpaceX. The rocket disintegrated in the stratosphere along with the resupply materials.
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