The Progress M-28M/60P spacecraft, perched atop a Soyuz-U booster, took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on time at 12:55:48 a.m. EDT (GMT-4; 10:55 a.m. local time), climbing into a clear blue sky trailing a jet of fiery exhaust from its liquid-fueled strap-on boosters.
Russia’s Progress 60 spacecraft has successfully docked onto the worldwide Space Station (ISS) thereby breaking the consecutive string of failures that had marred ISS resupply missions lately.
The Expedition 44 crew is now working on the ISS with three more astronauts planned to join later this month.
Kelly, who arrived on ISS with his fellow astronauts on 27 March to begin his year-long mission on the Space Station, tweeted his delight.
Prior to the Russian mission, attempts to re-supply the space station had been met with repeated failure.
In June, a SpaceX Falcon 9 intended to carry cargo to the station exploded two minutes after lift-off at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US. SpaceX won a Nasa Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract in 2006, which funded the company’s development of transport and supply rockets for ISS and has so far successfully completed six missions.
In April, the Russian space agency lost control of its cargo ship en route to the ISS and was forced to abandon it.
Progress 60 is scheduled to remain docked at the ISS for the next four months. It will be the first spaceflight for Yui and Lindgren.