Russian launches cargo spaceship to the ISS

MOSCOW: Russia successfully launched an unmanned cargo spaceship bound for the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday night, redeeming itself after a string of failures that cast a shadow on its space programme.


The Progress M-29M ship took off at 7:49 pm local time (16:49 GMT) from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying 2.3 tonnes of material for the astronauts based at the ISS, the Russian space agency said.

The vessel is expected to arrive at the ISS at 22:54 GMT.

Russia was forced to put all space travel on hold for nearly three months after another unmanned Progress freighter crashed back to Earth in late April.

The doomed ship lost contact and burned up in the atmosphere. The failure, which Russia blamed on a problem in a Soyuz rocket, also forced a group of astronauts to spend an extra month aboard the ISS.

Manned flights were eventually resumed after the incident, with astronauts blasting off from Baikonur in July and early September.