The Soyuz-2.1a rocket, dubbed “the Victory Rocket,” carrying the Progress MS-14 cargo craft, took off the Baikonur Cosmodrome Saturday. The launch is being livestreamed at the Russian Space Agency website.
This is the first cargo launch towards the International Space Station in 2020.
The cargo craft will be delivered into orbit in about 9 minutes after start. The craft will approach the ISS in 3 hours 21 minutes and then dock to the Zvezda module.
The launch is attended by the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) head Dmitry Rogozin.
The rocket, whose launch was timed for the 75th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, is decorated with special insignia: the Anniversary logo, the Ribbon of Saint George and War medals. The spacecraft will deliver the Anniversary paraphernalia to the ISS, as well as data on the War fighters within the “Immortal Regiment on the ISS” project.
The cargo spacecraft will also deliver 420 kilograms of water, 46 kg of oxygen, 650 kg of fuel and 1,350 kg of dry cargo. Last week, Roscosmos tweeted a photo of the goods prepared for launch: oranges, grapefruits and sausages.
The previous cargo launch happened on December 6, 2019. That time, the flight took three days: the Progress reached the ISS in two days, but idled for another day to provide NASA with a reserve day to dock the Dragon spacecraft.