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Progress 20 With Gifts,


The new cargo carrier is the 20th Progress to dock at the station. Among 
its more than 2.8 tons of cargo are Christmas presents for station 
Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev.

The presents won't come down the chimney. They'll come up through the 
Pirs Docking Compartment, where Progress 20 docked. Pirs is attached to 
an Earth-facing port of the Zvezda Service Module.

Tokarev was ready to take over control of the Progress using a manual 
docking system, but his intervention was not needed. The automated 
docking system brought the cargo carrier to Pirs smoothly and accurately.

The Progress launched toward the International Space Station Wednesday 
at 1:38 p.m. EST. It reached orbit about 10 minutes after launch, and 
its solar arrays and antennas were deployed as planned.

With the Soyuz that brought the Expedition 12 crew to the station and 
will take them home, Progress 20 brings to three the number of Russian 
vehicles at the station.

Its sister and predecessor at the station, Progress 19, will remain 
docked to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module. Generally a 
Progress is undocked and deorbited shortly before the launch of the next 
Progress, to clear that docking port for the new arrival.

In this case, mission managers have decided that Progress 19 will stay 
at the station so its remaining oxygen can be transferred. That also 
will give station crewmembers a chance to fill it completely with 
garbage and unneeded equipment. It will re-enter and burn in the Earth's 
atmosphere shortly after its undocking, scheduled for early March.

The Progress 20 cargo weighs about 5,680 pounds. It comprises 1,940 
pounds of propellant, 183 pounds of oxygen and air, 463 pounds of water 
and almost 3,100 pounds of dry cargo.

In addition to Christmas presents, the dry cargo consists of equipment 
and supplies, experiment hardware, spare parts for the station, repair 
gear and life support system hardware.
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