Russian Progress 66 Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

The Progress 66 Russian cargo spacecraft, shown here approaching the International Space Station on Feb. 24, 2017.
The Progress 66 Russian cargo spacecraft, shown here approaching the International Space Station on Feb. 24, 2017. (Image credit: NASA TV)

A robotic Russian cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station early Friday (Feb. 24) to deliver nearly 3 tons of supplies to the orbiting laboratory.

The automated Progress 66 supply ship docked at the space station at 3:30 a.m. EST (0830 GMT), parking itself at the station's Russian-built Pirs docking module. It is the second cargo ship to arrive at the station in as many days after a SpaceX Dragon capsule made its own delivery of 5,500 lbs. of supplies on Thursday. 

The Progress 66 Russian cargo spacecraft (left) passes by the Soyuz MS03 crew vehicle already attached to the International Space Station, on Feb. 24, 2017. (Image credit: NASA TV)

Russia's space agency Roscosmos launched Progress 66 into orbit Wednesday (Feb. 22) using a Soyuz rocket that lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It was Russia's first cargo delivery to the space station since the loss of the Progress 65 supply ship on Dec. 1, 2016. 

Russia's Progress vehicles and SpaceX's Dragon capsules are part of a fleet of robotic spacecraft that deliver vital supplies to the International Space Station. Cygnus spacecraft built by Orbital ATK and Japanese H-2 Transfer Vehicles round out the current fleet.  

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.