Robot Cargo Ship Docks in Space
Russia’s Progress 47 supplies International Space Station
By Robotics Trends' News Sources - Filed Apr 24, 2012

An unmanned Russian supply ship arrived at the International Space Station Sunday (April 22) carrying tons of fresh supplies in an Earth Day delivery for the orbiting lab's crew.

The robotic Progress 47 cargo ship docked with the space station at 10:39 a.m. EDT (1439 GMT), ending a two-day flight that began with an eye-catching launch.  The two spacecraft were sailing 249 miles (400 kilometers) over northern China, just south of the Mongolia border, when Progress 47 parked itself at the orbiting lab.

"Congratulations on a successful automatic docking," flight controllers in Russia's Mission Control Center in Moscow radioed the station crew in Russian.

The Progress supply ship is filled with more than 2.8 tons of food, equipment and other gear for the six-man crew living aboard the space station. Its arrival, which occurred on Earth Day by coincidence, comes just days after the departure of its predecessor Progress 46 from the station, and a week before the much-anticipated launch the first private U.S. cargo ship to the orbiting lab — the robotic Dragon capsule built by California-based SpaceX. Dragon is slated to launch on April 30.

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