A Russian rocket blasted off efficiently on Wednesday to ship a brand new docking module to the Worldwide Area Station.
The rocket lifted off as scheduled at 6:06 p.m. (1306 GMT) from the Russian launch facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, carrying the Progress cargo ship with the Prichal (Pier) docking module connected to it.
The craft efficiently entered a chosen orbit 9 minutes after the launch and is ready to dock on the station on Friday, hooking as much as the brand new Russian Nauka (Science) laboratory module that was added to the station in July.
The brand new spherical module with six docking ports will enable potential future growth of the Russian phase of the station.
Earlier this week, Russian crew on the station began coaching for Prichal’s arrival, simulating using guide controls in case the automated docking system fails.
The area outpost is at the moment operated by NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, Kayla Barron and Mark Vande Hei; Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov; and Matthias Maurer of the European Area Company.