Cargo for ISS


An unmanned Russian cargo ship carrying 2.76 U.S. tons of supplies, equipment and gifts blasted off Monday en route to the international space station, a space official quoted by AP said.

The Progress M-58 mounted atop a Soyuz-U booster rocket lifted off at 5:41 p.m. from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and entered orbit about 10 minutes later, Federal Space Agency spokesman Valery Lyndin said.

The ship was scheduled to reach the orbiting station Thursday evening, delivering fresh fruit and vegetables, compact discs and DVDs and other gifts to the station’s current crew — cosmonaut
Mikhail Tyurin, U.S. astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and German astronaut Thomas Reiter.

Also included in the shipment, according to Itar-Tass, will be equipment for repairing a Russian-built Elektron oxygen generator, which overheated last month, spreading burnt-rubber smell and leaking potassium hydroxide.

While the incident forced the crew to don masks and gloves in the first emergency ever declared aboard the 8-year-old orbiting outpost, Russian and U.S. space officials downplayed it, saying crew members’ lives were never in any danger.