MOSCOW, November 26, 2:29 /ITAR-TASS/. A Soyuz-U carrier rocket that took off at 00:53 Moscow Standard Time Tuesday /20:53 GMT Monday/ from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan has delivered into space the Progress M-21M cargo ship, which is expected to dock with the International Space Station three days later.
A spokesman for Russia's Federal Space Agency /Roscosmos/ told Itar-Tass the launch was performed at launching pad No. 31 of the space center strictly on time, and the separation of the cargo ship from the carrier vehicle took place at 01:01 Moscow Standard Time.
This time, a three-day approach pattern has been chosen for the Progress, in contrast to the shortened 6-hour pattern that was used as of October 2012.
In the process of the docking maneuver that is due to take place November 30, flight testing of a new system of approach, Kurs-NA, will be done. The previous testing of the same system that was done in the summer of 2012 ended in a failure.
Progress M-21M is carrying aboard more than 2.5 tons of various life support cargoes for the crew and for the technical maintenance of the station, including fuel, equipment, oxygen, water, clothes for the crewmembers, foodstuffs, equipment for experiements, medical aids, and spare parts.
Apart from the standard food rations, the crew working at the ISS -- Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Tyurin, Sergei Ryazansky, and Oleg Kotov, NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Richard Mastracchio, and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata -- will get fresh vegetables and fruit, as well as candies and other sweets from psychologists and family members.