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Russian cargo ship docks with international space station

A Russian progress cargo ship docked safely with the international space station on Wednesday carrying 2.4 tons of fuel, clothing and other supplies, news reports said.



A Russian progress cargo ship docked
safely with the international space station on Wednesday carrying 2.4
tons of fuel, clothing and other supplies, news reports said.
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The progress blasted off Sunday from the Baikonur launch
pad in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakistan. It docked at
about 2015 gmt, the Itar-Tass news agency and Russian
television reported.

The fuel it is carrying will be used to adjust the space
station's orbit. The unmanned cargo ship is also delivering
scientific instruments, linen and personal hygiene supplies. It is the first of two progress missions ferrying supplies to the space station in preparation for the arrival of the first crew in October. The next will be in late August.

Russia's long-delayed Zvezda module of the international
station was put into orbit last month. Russia's inability to
pay its bills and rocket problems meant the module, which
contains living quarters and guidance systems, went up two
years later than planned.

But with Zvezda linked up, construction is now expected
to speed up, and the ISS is scheduled to be complete in 2005,
after more than 40 more launches.

Report: Zeenext Bureau

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