MOSCOW, November 26 (RIA Novosti) – An unmanned Russian space freighter carrying almost 2 1/2 tons of supplies to the International Space Station lifted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan Tuesday, a Mission Control spokesman said.
The Progress M-21M spacecraft, loaded with food, fuel, experiment hardware and other supplies for the space station’s six Expedition 38 crew members, is expected to dock with the space station’s Russian-made Zvezda module four days after liftoff.
The cargo ship will conduct flybys of the station to test a lighter and more efficient automated docking system, known as Kurs-NA, for upgraded Soyuz and Progress vehicles.
“The tests of the new equipment will be conducted on the night of November 27-28,” the spokesman said.
Previous testing of the system’s predecessor, Kurs-A, ended in failure in April when the antenna did not deploy correctly.