Russian Progress 88 cargo ship docks at ISS carrying tons of fresh supplies

A Russian Progress 88 cargo ship with solar arrays unfurled and the blue Earth in the background
vA Russian Progress 88 cargo ship with solar arrays unfurled docks at the International Space Station on June 1, 2024. (Image credit: NASA TV)

A robotic Russian cargo craft docked at the International Space Station on Saturday morning (June 1) to deliver tons of fresh supplies, just hours ahead of the planned launch of a Boeing Starliner spacecraft set to carry two astronauts to the station for the first time. 

The Roscosmos Progress 88 freighter linked up with the orbiting lab's Poisk module Saturday at 7:43 a.m. EDT (1143 GMT) in a smooth automated docking as the two spacecraft sailed high above southern Russia. The orbital rendezvous came two days after the cargo ship launched toward the International Space Station (ISS) on a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The space station's seven-person Expedition 71 crew watched over the approach of Progress 88 closely, with Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub ready to take manual control of the automated Progress 88 ship in the event its Kurs autopilot system malfunctioned, but the entire docking process went by the book. 

"A fantastic connection between the two, with the Kurs automated docking system leading the way," NASA spokesperson Joseph Zakrezewski said during live commentary. 

A  view of Progress 88 as it approaches its Poisk docking port on the ISS. (Image credit: NASA TV)

Progress 88 is carrying about 2.7 tons of fuel, food and other supplies to the ISS. The cargo craft will remain attached to the orbiting lab for about six months, after which it will be filled with trash and head down to a fiery destruction in Earth's atmosphere, as the Progress 86 vehicle did earlier this week.

Progress 88 will join four other spacecraft at the orbiting lab. Also attached to the ISS at the moment are Progress 87, fellow freighter Cygnus (which is built by American company Northrop Grumman), and two crew vehicles: a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule and a Russian Soyuz craft. 

Progress 88 closes in on its docking port at the International Space Station. (Image credit: NASA TV)

The visiting roster will continue to fill out over the coming days, if all goes according to plan. Boeing's new Starliner capsule is scheduled to launch toward the ISS Saturday on Crew Flight Test (CFT), its first-ever astronaut mission, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station later today at 12:25 p.m. EDT (1625 GMT). You can watch that Starliner launch live on

CFT will send NASA's Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to the station for a roughly week-long stay. If all goes well on the mission, Starliner will be certified for operational crewed flights, as Crew Dragon was four years ago. 

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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.