MOSCOW, June 14. /TASS/. A Progress MS-06 space freighter has been successfully delivered into the near-Earth orbit and the spacecraft is now heading for the International Space Station (ISS), Russia’s Mission Control told TASS on Wednesday.
"The separation of the spacecraft from the third stage of a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket has been registered," Mission Control said.
The Progress space freighter’s solar panels and antenna have opened after its separation from the launcher, a Mission Control spokesman said.
"The spacecraft’s external elements have opened," the spokesman said.
The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket blasted off from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan at 12:20 Moscow time on Wednesday.
After its separation from the carrier rocket, the Progress MS-06 will continue its two-day flight to the ISS in an automated mode.
The space freighter is scheduled to dock with the world’s sole orbiter at 14:42 Moscow time on June 16. The Progress-MS-06 is expected to approach the ISS and arrive at the docking port of the Zvezda service module in an automated mode. At the same time, the automatics will be controlled by ISS cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin.
This is the second Russian space freighter sent to the ISS this year. The previous spacecraft left for the space station on February 22 and the next space freighter is expected to be launched on October 12.
The Progress MS-06 is expected to stay docked with the ISS until the first days of December 2017, after which it will be de-orbited and sunk in the Pacific Ocean.
The space freighter carries about 2.4 tonnes of cargoes: 620 kg of fuel for the ISS’ refueling, 47 kg of pressurized gas, 420 liters of water in cisterns, 351 kg of containers with food rations and fresh foodstuffs.
As Head of the ISS Crew Nutrition Department at the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Agureyev told TASS, 15 kilograms of fresh apples, adjika sauce, mustard, horseradish sauce and smoked sausages have been dispatched to the cosmonauts aboard the world’s sole orbiter, apart from standard food rations.
The scientific equipment, which the space freighter is delivering to the ISS, includes the Tanyusha-YuGZU, Sfera-53 and TNS-0 No. 2 nanosatellites. They are planned to be launched into outer space during a cosmonaut’s spacewalk in August.