Moscow: An unpiloted Russian resupply vehicle for the International Space Station (ISS) was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday with three tonnes of food, fuel and supplies to astronauts.
The ISS Progress 63 ship began a two-day journey to reach the station for an automated docking to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module on April 2.
"The 63rd Progress resupply ship is beginning its two-day treck to ISS," a NASA commentator said as Russia’s Roscosmos space agency aired a live liftoff from its Baikonur launchpad.
After this, a SpaceX Dragon vehicle is set for launch on April 8 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The Dragon capsule will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket, carrying science research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory in support of the Expedition 47 and 48 crews.
The flight also includes the Bigelow Aerospace expandable habitat module that will be attached to the space station for testing.
In its scheduled return to Earth in May, the Dragon capsule will bring back biological samples from astronauts, including those collected during NASA's one-year mission.
This launch is the eighth contracted mission by SpaceX under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract.