Early on Friday, a Russian Progress cargo ship carrying over 5,500 pounds of supplies and equipment for the International Space Station launched from Kazakhstan, beginning a two-day orbital pursuit.
The Progress MS-25/86P spacecraft, perched atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket, lifted off at 4:25 a.m. EST (2:25 p.m. local time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and entered the preliminary orbit eight minutes and forty-five seconds later.
Subsequently, the Progress parted ways, extended its solar wings, and initiated the initial phases of a two-day 34-orbit rendezvous with the space station. The spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at the lab complex early on Sunday morning, approximately 6:15 a.m., and will navigate itself into a docking at the Russian space-facing Poisk module.
In addition to other supplies and equipment, the space freighter is carrying 3,423 pounds of propellant—which helps keep the station in orbit—88 pounds of nitrogen, 926 pounds of water, and 1,135 pounds of other spare parts.
Friday’s orbital launch of Progress was the first of two, or even three, flights.
At 1:19 p.m. EST, SpaceX intends to launch the 425 Project satellite from South Korea from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Four imaging radar spacecraft will follow the optical-infrared reconnaissance satellite manufactured domestically in 2019 to closely monitor any potential military action in North Korea.
It is also believed that SpaceX is preparing to launch a second batch of Starlink broadband satellites from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station late Friday. The business will have completed 90 and 91 Falcon 9 flights this year if both missions succeed.