Two days before the ISS station marks its 20th anniversary in orbit, a Russian cargo ship docked, transporting various supplies.
This included 725kg of fuel, 420kg of fresh water, as well as scientific gear, spare parts, food, clothing and other items for the crew. The docking procedure was fully automated, as the spacecraft’s computers guided it all the way to the rendezvous point. The craft, which used its thrusters to adjust its trajectory, completed its radar-guided docking with the Zvezda module of the ISS. The docking occurred while the ISS was in orbit over Algeria.
Progress is not the only resupply ship scheduled to dock at the station. An US Cygnus spacecraft launched by Antares rocket was set to arrive on Monday. Its arrival brings close to 7,400 pounds of research and supplies to space station. This includes an experiment to solidify cement in spacewhich will help engineers better understand the microstructure and material properties of cement, leading to design of safer, lightweight space habitats and improving cement processing techniques on Earth. Growing crystals to fight Parkinson disease, Better gas separations membranes and Sensory input in microgravity are other themes to be developed by the ISS’s crew.The spacecraft will spend about three months attached to the space station before departing in February 2019.