Progress M-10M

HL-20
Progress M-10M Launch
Image Credit: NASASpaceFlight

Russia successfully launched their Progress M-10M resupply spacecraft toward a Friday rendezvous with the International Space Station. Docking is scheduled for 7:29 AM Phoenix time (1429 GMT). The cargo includes 2.6 tons of food, water, propellant, and other supplies.

Part of the spacecraft’s payload of experiments were considered time-sensitive enough by Russian officials that they declined to postpone the launch to avoid a scheduling conflict with the shuttle Endeavour, which was scheduled to launch on April 19.

Instead, NASA had to delay Endeavour by ten days to tomorrow, 29 April 2011. The Progress spacecraft needs to complete its docking procedure before Endeavour is granted final clearance for launch at 12:47 PM Phoenix time (1947 UTC), a mere 5 hours after Progress docks.

The cargo includes a family of fruit flies, bacteria, fungi, seeds of dwarf tomatoes and superkarlikovoy wheat. The Drosophila fruit flies – to study the genetic adaptability of living organisms to spaceflight – will return to Earth with the Soyuz TMA-20 crew.

Three Biorisk-MSN containers with bacteria, fungi will be installed outside the ISS during a spacewalk in July, to study the adaptation of bacteria to the space environment.

Roscosmos has video of the launch.

Progress M-10M
Progress M-10M Ascent
Image Credit: NASA

Progress M-10M
Progress M-10M Ascent
Image Credit: Tsenki

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