Moscow, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- Russia on Monday successfully launched the Progress MS-16 cargo ship bound for the International Space Station (ISS), the Roscosmos space agency reported.
The freighter was launched by a Soyuz-2.1 rocket from Site 31 at Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Progress MS-16 is carrying nitrogen reserves for the station’s atmosphere and materials to seal the transfer chamber of the Russian Zvezda module, where a small air leak was detected several months ago.
In addition, the automated spacecraft is carrying more than 600 kilograms of fuel and 420 kilograms of water, as well as other material essential for the station’s operation.
In total, the vessel is carrying more than 2.5 tonnes of cargo in its holds, including scientific equipment such as a photobioreactor to carry out experiments to produce oxygen with the help of algae and bacteria.
The ISS crew members will also receive a biodegradation test system to study the composition of the microorganisms present in the platform’s atmosphere and to study their effect on the materials from which it was built.
After two days of autonomous flight, Progress MS-16 will dock on Wednesday at 06.20 GMT to the Pirs module of the ISS’s Russian segment.
The International Space Station currently has seven crew members: Russians Sergey Ryzhikov (commander) and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, Americans Kathleen Rubins, Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover, and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi.
The ISS, a project worth more than $150 billion, is made up of 15 permanent modules and orbits the Earth at a distance of 400 kilometers and a speed of more than 27,000 kilometers per hour. EFE-EPA