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New Progress Launches Toward Station

An unpiloted Progress cargo craft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome 
in Kazakhstan at 9:08 a.m. EDT with a cargo of supplies, equipment and 
fuel for the International Space Station.

The new cargo carrier is the 19th unpiloted Progress cargo vehicle to 
dock at the International Space Station. It will be a breath of fresh 
air, in several senses.

Among the cargo carrier's more than 2.6 tons of cargo is a new liquids 
unit for the Russian Elektron oxygen generator. The unit has been out of 
operation since late May.

Progress cargo spacecraft Image to right: A Russian Progress cargo 
spacecraft. Credit: NASA Credit: NASA

The crew has relied on Solid Fuel Oxygen Generator (SFOG) "candles" and 
oxygen from Progress and Station tanks to replenish the orbiting 
laboratory's atmosphere. The Elektron uses water as a raw material, 
dividing it into hydrogen, which is vented overboard, and oxygen.

Progress 19 has been fitted with 14 extra tanks. They enable it to carry 
an additional 132 pounds of oxygen and air, for a total of just over 242 
pounds. Also aboard are 16 new SFOGs.

Total P19 cargo weight is just over 5,175 pounds. That includes 1,760 
pounds of propellant for attitude control thrusters, more than 52 
gallons of water and about 2,700 pounds of dry cargo.

That dry cargo consists of equipment and supplies, experiment hardware, 
spare parts for the Russian Vozdukh carbon dioxide removal system and 
food. That food is one reason a Progress arrival is a happy occasion, 
despite the hard work involved in unloading and stowing cargo items.

Fresh food is especially welcome after months in orbit.

The Progress is similar in appearance and some design elements to the 
Soyuz spacecraft, which brings three crewmembers to the Station, serves 
as a lifeboat while they are there and returns them to Earth. The aft 
module, the instrumentation and propulsion module, is nearly identical.

But the second of the three Progress sections is a refueling module, and 
the third, uppermost as the Progress sits on the launch pad, is a cargo 
module. On the Soyuz, the descent module, where the crew is seated on 
launch and which returns them to Earth, is the middle module and the 
third is called the orbital module.

The previous cargo craft, Progress 18, was undocked from the Station 
Wednesday at 6:26 a.m. EDT. Russian flight controllers commanded it to 
deorbit. It burned in the Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific with its 
cargo of trash less than four hours later.
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