- Rocket launches successfully two months after another crashed
- Launch "sets the stage" for next International Space Station crew
An unmanned Russian rocket successfully lifted off with a cargo of supplies for the crew of the International Space Station on Sunday, two months after a similar rocket crashed in Siberia.
The Progress 45 freighter is slated to dock with the station on Wednesday with three tons of food, fuel, water and spare parts for the U.S., Russian and Japanese crew of the station. The vessel took off from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:11 p.m. (6:11 a.m. ET) and reached its preliminary orbit in nine minutes, the U.S. space agency NASA said.
The launch follows a failed launch in August, when another Progress crashed into the Siberian wilderness. It was the first such crash in the craft's 30-year service history, but space officials said the station's three-member crew was never in any danger of running out of food or water.
In a written statement, NASA's manned space flight chief, Bill Gerstenmaier, said the launch "sets the stage" for the next scheduled crew rotation aboard the ISS in November.