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Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC
Permission granted by the Houston Chronicle

Russian craft carries supplies to outpost for two-man crew
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

A Russian cargo ship has arrived at the international space station with
three tons of fuel, water, spare parts, science gear and other equipment
for the two-man crew. 

The Russian Progress, which docked with the space lab late Saturday, has
taken on a crucial role in supplying the orbiting outpost in the wake of
the Feb. 1 shuttle Columbia accident. 

The accident forced a suspension of shuttle missions, placing all
responsibility for ferrying people and supplies aloft on the Russians. 

NASA hopes to resume shuttle flights in March, but the date is
considered tentative as the space agency tries to comply with a range of
new shuttle measures recommended by the Columbia Accident Investigation

The supplies aboard the new Progress include water for Russian cosmonaut
Yuri Malenchenko, the station's commander, and NASA astronaut Ed Lu, the
science officer. The water can be converted into oxygen to provide
breathing air. 

Also aboard the Progress were a global positioning system instrument and
a satellite telephone, which will be stowed inside the Russian Soyuz
capsule already docked to the station. 

The GPS and satellite phone are intended to help hasten the recovery of
the Soyuz spacecraft if it strays off course while returning Malenchenko
and Lu to Earth in late October. 

Four months ago, a three-man, U.S. and Russian station crew that
returned to Earth from the station experienced a guidance system problem
that caused their Soyuz capsule to land nearly 300 miles off course. 

The two American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut waited nearly two
hours for airborne search crews to locate them in remote Kazakhstan.

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