Moscow, Apr 25 (efe-epa).- Russia launched the Progress MS-14 space freighter onboard the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket, with about two tons of cargo for the crew of the International Space Station (ISS), which it dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the victory over German Nazism in World War II.
Progress took off at 01.51 GMT, as scheduled, according to the Russian Flight Control Center, which added that “the flight is proceeding normally.”
An allegorical insignia to the anniversary was engraved on the carrier rocket, along with a St. George ribbon, made up of black and orange bands, and various Soviet decorations of the Second World War.
Because the pandemic of the new coronavirus forced the Russian government to cancel all public activities to celebrate this anniversary on May 9, a decision unprecedented in almost six decades, the launch becomes more relevant for Moscow.
Minutes before launch, CEO of Energuia rocket manufacturer Nikolai Sevastianov commented that “unprecedented steps were taken to disinfect the rocket and spacecraft” to prevent the arrival of the new coronavirus on the ISS.
The Soyuz carrier rocket will launch the Progress MS-14 spacecraft into orbit, which will dock with the ISS after a three-hour and 22-minute trip, during which it will circle twice around Earth before docking with the station, scheduled for 05.13 GMT, making it the fourth spacecraft to travel this trajectory.
This freighter transports 700 kilograms of fuel to the station, in addition to 1.5 tons of water, scientific equipment, food and medicine.
As reported by Roscosmos in mid-April, the diet of the cosmonauts will be completed this time with citrus, particularly grapefruits and oranges, and sausages, foods that must be consumed before April 30.
“In addition, the crew will receive allegorical forms for the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War,” as Russians call World War II, the space corporation said.
Currently onboard the ISS are three crew members, Russian cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, and NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy, who, according to Roscosmos, have already practiced all the necessary maneuvers to unload the freighter. EFE-EPA