`PROGRESS` TO DOCK WITH ISS ON SUNDAY

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India
MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti's Alexander Kovalev) -The Progress-M51 cargo spacecraft is to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, December 26, at 3-05 a.m. Moscow time in the automatic mode, a spokesperson for Russia's Mission Control Center told RIA Novosti.

The cargo spaceship is going to deliver aboard ISS containers with Russian and American foods for astronauts Salijan Sharipov and Leroy Chiao, Christmas presents, reserve fuel for the attitude control engines, fresh water, research equipment and a new Russian-made thread-mill.

In addition, the Progress-M51 will deliver a new "inhabitant" on board - a German-made robot named Rockviss designed to ease astronauts' workloads and cut down operational costs.

By the end of January, the robot is to be mounted on the ISS outer surface where it will first have to prove its serviceability in the harsh conditions of outer space.

Among other things, the Progress will deliver a Russian-made thread-mill exerciser. Its American-made counterpart, currently in operation, keeps breaking down and, by mutual agreement, will be replaced.

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