The ISS astronauts don’t have to worry any longer because fresh supplies are finally on their way. It’s not that resupply missions are all that few and far between, but the last couple of attempts resulted in failures, with the rockets not being able to reach the International Space Station. The latest such incident took place just days ago when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was carrying a Dragon capsule to the ISS exploded shortly after liftoff. This wasn’t the only recent failure though, as back in April a Russian Progress spacecraft saw a similar fate. Both of these were unmanned missions so at least no lives were lost, but unfortunately tons of supplies ended up being destroyed in the process.
The successful launch of today restored some much-needed hope to both the ISS astronauts and the crew on the ground. In an attempt to make things right again Russia launched another Progress spacecraft, only this time around the Soyuz rocket carrying it blasted off without any problems. The Progress 60 cargo ship is filled with more than 2 tons of supplies for the ISS astronauts, including food, water, oxygen and fuel among others. The ISS crew currently consists of Gennady Padalka, Mikhail Kornienko and Scott Kelly and according to the Russian space agency they can expect the fresh supplies to arrive on Sunday.
Despite the recent failed launches, NASA says that the three astronauts should have enough supplies to last until October, not counting the ones found on the Progress 60. However, the failures have undoubtedly affected the morale of the ISS astronauts so I’m sure on Sunday they’ll be very happy to see a ship from Earth docking with the station once again. The three astronauts form Expedition 44 and have now been in space for almost 98 days, with Scott Kelly and Mikhail Korniyenko planning to spend a total of 342 days as part of the OneYear mission and Gennady Padalka scheduled to return back to Earth this September.