Russian cargo craft docks at space station

Oct. 31, 2012 at 5:24 PM
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MOSCOW, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- An unmanned Russian space freighter docked at the International Space Station Wednesday after a launch from Kazakhstan, officials said.

The Progress 49 spacecraft launched at 3:41 a.m. EDT and docked at 9:33 a.m., completing in just hours a trip typically requiring two days, Florida Today reported.

Russian officials said it was a test of a new capability to get missions to the ISS more quickly from their launches at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Progress freighter, launched atop a Soyuz-U rocket, is delivering almost 2.6 metric tons of supplies to the station including fuel components, oxygen, food, water and scientific equipment, a spokesman for Mission Control outside Moscow said.

The supplies will be transferred by the six crew members currently aboard the station, consisting of two U.S. astronauts, three Russian cosmonauts and a Japanese astronaut.

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