A Russian cargo ship is bound for the International Space Station (ISS).
On Sunday (Dec. 3) there will be another live event with the spaceship, when Progress 86 (also designated as MS-25) is expected to dock with the space station's Poisk module carrying 5,600 pounds (2,540 kg) of cargo. Docking is scheduled for 6:14 a.m. EST (1114 GMT). Coverage will begin here at Space.com, via NASA Television, at 5:30 a.m. EST (1030 GMT).
The ISS uses resupply ships to provide food, equipment, supplies and science for long-duration crews on the orbiting complex. The Expedition 70 crew on board now saw the departure of the Progress 84/MS-23 spacecraft on Wednesday (Nov. 29), before burning up in the Earth's atmosphere as planned a few hours later, NASA officials wrote in a blog post.
Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub recently "reviewed procedures … for monitoring the approaching cargo craft and practiced remotely controlling" the approaching Progress ship if it is needed, NASA officials added. But in a normal docking, Progress should approach and attach to the space station without need of crew intervention.
Progress is one of several ships tasked with resupplying the ISS. The other current vehicles, both from the United States, are the SpaceX Dragon and Northrop Grumman Cygnus. Progress is also used regularly to boost the ISS orbit and if necessary, to fire its engine to avoid orbital debris. NASA has tested boosting the ISS with Cygnus, as a backup.
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Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace