Soyuz LV with Progress cargo carrier heading to ISS launched from Baikonur

Russia's Soyuz-U launch vehicle (LV) carrying the Progress M-28M cargo spacecraft with supplies for the International Space Station (ISS) crew blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which Russia leases from Kazakhstan, on Friday morning, an Interfax-AVN correspondent has reported from the Russian Mission Control Center.

The launch took place at 7:55 a.m. Shortly afterwards, the Soyuz-U successfully lifted the Progress re-supply ship to a transfer orbit.

According to a commentator at the Mission Control Center, the antennas of the Progress spacecraft's Kurs docking system unfolded properly.

"The external antennas of the spacecraft unfolded completely," the commentator said during a broadcast.

The re-supply ship is expected to dock with the ISS at 10:13 a.m. on Sunday, July 5.

It is carrying over 2,500 tonnes of supplies for the 44th crew working onboard the ISS, including fuel to maintain the station's orbit, food, water and oxygen for the crew, equipment and scientific cargo.

The launch of the Progress M-27M re-supply ship in April ended in failure. The State Commission confirmed the problem was with the third stage of the Soyuz-2.1 launch vehicle, resulting in a bad separation between the stage and the Progress and causing the spacecraft to spin out of control. The Mission Control Center's attempts to re-establish control over the cargo carrier failed.

The second spacecraft lost when trying to deliver supplies to the ISS was the U.S. Dragon mission. The launch of the Falcon-9 booster carrying the Dragon spacecraft ended in failure on June 28.

Read more: Cosmic crab, star salmon and space sturgeon: What’s on a cosmonaut’s menu?

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