Two days after it was originally scheduled to launch, a Russian Progress resupply and refueling freighter has been launched on Tuesday to the International Space Station (ISS).
The Progress MS-08 supply ship is bringing to ISS 3,064 pounds (1,390 kilograms) of equipment, scientific hardware, food and supplies; 1,962 pounds (890 kilograms) of propellant; 926 pounds (420 kilograms) of water, 53 pounds (24 kilograms) of compressed air and 48 pounds (22 kilograms) of compressed oxygen.
The mission was to launch on Sunday, but that didn’t happen when the launch was halted with less than one minute before liftoff. Russia hasn’t revealed the exact reason behind the abort, but reports indicate that a component of the Soyuz flight control system was replaced after Sunday’s abort.
If the launch would have happened on Sunday, Progress MS-08 would have reached the ISS in three-and-a-half hours due to alignment of the space station with the launch site. However, with the resupply mission launching on Tuesday, it will take two days before ISS receives the freighter.
The resupply mission is bringing a number of scientific experiments to the ISS. One of the experiments is an antenna package to track the movements of small animals across the globe. The project is named Icarus and it aims to reveal changes in migratory routes, animal connections and other animal behavior. Astronauts aboard the ISS will be installing the antenna outside the space station on a spacewalk later this year.
The Progress freighter also carries experimental radiators mounted on the ship’s exterior. The devices will help engineers test the performance of a new thermal control system that could be used on future space missions, according to RussianSpaceWeb.com.
The delay in the Progress MS-08 supply ship’s launch and docking forced space station officials to push back a spacewalk by astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Norishige Kanai from Thursday to Friday.