A Soyuz rocket has successfully launched a Progress capsule from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, with supplies for the International Space Station (ISS).
The Progress capsule successfully docked with ISS only hours after the 31 October launch, carrying 2,500lb of fuel, food, spare parts and other necessities, according to Russian space agency Roscosmos. It docked six hours after launch, a feat requiring four upper stage burns to achieve the correct rendezvous orbit. Only one other Progress mission has been launched into such an orbit – normal operations require up to three days to rendezvous with ISS.
The spacecraft will remain docked until April 2013, before re-entering and burning up in the atmosphere.
The launch marks the 49th Progress supply capsule launched to ISS. The docking comes only three days after the departure of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, which returned experiments to Earth on 28 October, and six days after another Soyuz arrived with a fresh three-person crew.