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Russia’s Progress MS-13 space freighter delivered into near-Earth orbit

The space freighter will deliver fuel, water and other supplies to the International Space Station

MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. A Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket that blasted off from the Baikonur spaceport delivered a Progress MS-13 cargo craft into the near-Earth orbit, Russia’s Roscosmos state space corporation reported in a live broadcast on its website on Friday.

"The spacecraft’s separation from the carrier rocket’s third stage completed," the space agency announced.

The cargo craft blasted off atop the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket from launch site No. 31 of the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:34 p.m. Moscow time on Friday. The space freighter is carrying 650 kg of fuel, 420 kg of water, 1,360 kg of dry cargo and 50 kg of oxygen tanks for the International Space Station.

In October, Roscosmos rescheduled the launch of the Progress MS-13 resupply ship for December 1. Later, specialists of the Energia Space Rocket Corporation (the developer of Progress spaceships) found a problem with the spacecraft’s onboard cable during preparations at the Baikonur cosmodrome for the resupply ship’s launch. The cable was replaced but the launch was rescheduled for December 6 to have the time for additional checks.

The Progress space freighter is travelling to the orbital outpost under a three-day scheme. The cargo craft is set to dock with the space station at 1:38 p.m. Moscow time on December 9. A source in the space industry told TASS in November that the resupply ship would arrive at the orbital outpost within two days and stay in the stand-by mode for another 24 hours several kilometers from the station because NASA needed a back-up day for the US cargo craft’s docking.

Roscosmos later confirmed that the docking of the Russian cargo craft had been rescheduled due to the docking of the US Dragon space freighter.