Russian Progress cargo spacecraft launches toward the ISS

a white rocket launches into a grayish-blue sky.
A Russian Soyuz rocket launches a Progress cargo craft toward the International Space Station on Aug. 22, 2023. (Image credit: Roscosmos)

A robotic Russian Progress cargo spacecraft launched toward the International Space Station tonight (Aug. 22), carrying 3 tons of supplies toward the orbiting lab.

The Progress 85 vehicle lifted off atop a Soyuz rocket from the Russian-run Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan tonight at 9:08 p.m. EDT (0108 GMT on Aug. 23).

If all goes according to plan, the freighter will arrive at the orbiting lab on Thursday (Aug. 24) at 11:50 p.m. EDT (0350 GMT on Aug. 25). You can watch the rendezvous and docking here on when the time comes.

Related: Russia's space centers and launch sites in pictures

Russia’s Progress 82 cargo craft, packed with three tons of food, fuel, and supplies, is pictured shortly after docking to the International Space Station in October 2022. (Image credit: NASA)

Progress 85's launch comes just a few days after the departure of a previous Russian cargo vehicle from the International Space Station

Progress 83 left the ISS on Sunday (Aug. 20) after a six-month stay, to be deorbited over the open ocean. (This is normal for Progress vehicles; unlike SpaceX's Dragon capsules, Progress freighters aren't designed for recovery and reuse.)

There's still another Progress docked to the ISS — Progress 84, which arrived at the orbiting lab in late May.

And yet another spacecraft will head to the orbiting lab soon. SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule Endurance is scheduled to launch early Friday morning (Aug. 25), carrying four astronauts to the ISS on the Crew-7 mission.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 9:25 p.m. ET on Aug. 22 with news of successful launch.

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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.