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MOSCOW, April 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Progress M-15M, the second cargo spaceship launched by Russia this year, successfully docked with the International Space Station on Sunday.
“Progress M-15M docked with the Pirs unit at 6:39 p.m. Moscow time,” the Russian mission control center told Itar-Tass.
It lifted off Baikonur at 4:50 p.m. Moscow time on Friday and successfully arrived in the designated orbit nine minutes later. Progress M-15M separated from the Soyuz-U rocket at the altitude of about 200 kilometers and continued its flight towards the International Space Station (ISS) by the set trajectory.
The freighter delivered about 2.4 tonnes of cargo, including food, water, personal care items, fuel, equipment and gifts for crewmembers. It brought new sensors for the Matryoshka dummy, which is being used to study radiation effects on crucial human organs.
In addition to the standard food ration, the astronauts will receive 14 kilograms of fresh fruit – apples, oranges, grapefruit, lemons – and a kilo of onions. The fruit and onions are packed in containers, which will keep them fresh for several months. In addition, the astronauts will taste new canned fish products. Ten coffee and sugar sachets were sent specially for coffee lover Oleg Kononenko.
The crew will receive gifts from families and psychologists: chocolate bonbons, dry fruit, nuts and other delicacies, which not only diversify regular meals but also brighten up the crew’s day. Psychologists sent ten DVD with the latest Western-made movies. There is a birthday present for Gennady Padalka, who will celebrate his 54th birthday in orbit on June 21. He will be the member of the 31st ISS crew.
The ISS has its 30th crew now: Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin and Oleg Kononenko of Russia, Daniel Burbank and Donald Pettit of NASA and Andrei Kuipers of the European Space Agency.
The crew will open the Progress M-15M hatch at approximately 9:25 p.m. Moscow time and unload urgent cargo. The unloading of other cargo will begin on Monday.