On January 26, a Progress M-14M cargo ship successfully launched aboard a Soyuz rocket from Baikonour Cosmodrome. The ship is due to arrive at the ISS on January 27. The launch is the first of 2012 for Roscosmos and the 46th Progress resupply vessel to be sent to ISS.
The ship, whose launch was described as “flawless” by a NASA spokesperson, carries food, oxygen, air, water, spare parts, and experimental equipment. The last Progress cargo ship undocked from ISS on January 23 with its load of trash and burned up in the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean a day later, but not before releasing
a Russian microsatellite called Chibis-M. Chibis-M will orbit slightly above ISS and study Earth’s ionosphere. Its findings could help scientists understand and predict space weather phenomena.
The next launch to ISS, now that SpaceX’s Dragon COTS flight has been delayed, will be the launch of three new Expedition 31 crewmembers. On March 16, Commander Dan Burbank along with cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin will head back to Earth, ending Expedition 30. On March 30, NASA astronauts Joseph Acaba and cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin will launch to ISS aboard a Soyuz capsule.
Below is a video of the Progress launch: