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Russia launches the Progress spacecraft to the International Space Station

Russia launches the Progress spacecraft to the International Space Station

Russia launched a Progress resupply spacecraft on Thursday to the International Space Station, one of the rare Russian-American projects that was preserved despite tensions between the two countries against the backdrop of the Russian attack in Ukraine.

The Russian Space Agency said on its Telegram channel that the Soyuz-2.1a rocket carrying the Progress MS-26 spacecraft successfully took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and broadcast a video of the takeoff.

The ship was successfully placed in orbit and is scheduled to dock with the station on Saturday morning, according to the same source.

It must deliver fuel, scientific experiment equipment, and food products for astronauts to the crew of the International Space Station.

There are currently seven people on board the Flight Laboratory: three Russian astronauts, two American astronauts, a Dane and a Japanese.

In December, the Russian Space Agency and NASA agreed to extend their flights to the International Space Station until 2025.

In July 2022, Russia announced its intention to withdraw “after 2024” from the International Space Station, where its astronauts are permanently located and in which it plays a major role. Therefore, establishing a new Russian orbital station is a priority for Moscow.

As a model of international cooperation bringing together Europe, Japan, the United States and Russia, assembly of the International Space Station began in 1998. It was scheduled for retirement in 2024, but NASA estimated that it could operate until 2030.

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