Russia launches a Valentine's Day Progress supply ship to the ISS

a white, red and green rocket launches into a blue sky.
A Soyuz rocket launches Russia's Progress 87 cargo spacecraft toward the International Space Station on Feb. 14, 2024. (Image credit: NASA/Roscosmos)

A fresh load of supplies is headed for the International Space Station.

Russia launched its robotic Progress 87 cargo ship on a Valentine's Day delivery mission toward the International Space Station tonight (Feb. 14).

The freighter lifted off atop a Soyuz rocket from the Russian-run Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:25 p.m. EST (0325 GMT and 8:25 a.m. on Feb. 15 local time in Baikonur).

Related: Facts about Roscosmos, Russia's space agency

Progress 87 is carrying about 3 tons of food, propellant and other supplies.

If all goes according to plan, the freighter will reach the orbiting lab early Saturday (Feb. 17), docking with the Russian Zvezda service module at 1:12 a.m. EST (0612 GMT). You can watch that rendezvous live here at, via NASA; coverage will begin at 12:30 a.m. EST (0530 GMT) on Saturday.

Progress is one of three robotic spacecraft that currently fly resupply missions to the ISS, along with Northrop Grumman's Cygnus vehicle and SpaceX's Cargo Dragon capsule.

Progress and Cygnus are expendable spacecraft, burning up in Earth's atmosphere when their time in orbit is done. But Dragon is designed to be reusable; it splashes down safely in the ocean under parachutes, which means it can bring science samples back down to Earth.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 10:45 p.m. EST on Feb. 14 with news of a successful liftoff.

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.