NASA announced that Russia plans to launch a new cargo vehicle towards the International Space Station in the middle of next month.
A statement issued by the agency indicated that “Russia plans to launch a Progress MS-16 cargo vehicle towards the International Space Station on February 15th.”
According to NASA, the spacecraft is supposed to launch on the aforementioned date from Baikonur “Baikonur” space base in Kazakhstan, at 7:45 Moscow time, and arrive at the station to join it on February 17 at 9:19 Moscow time.
And Russian media had indicated that the launch of Progress MS-16 was scheduled to take place last December, but the operation was postponed until this year after it was decided to subject the vehicle to additional checks.
Russia has developed Progress MS vehicles to be cargo vehicles capable of transporting various payloads to the International Space Station, including fuel, scientific equipment, water, food and all that is necessary for the astronauts to remain in the station. These vehicles can also be relied upon to modify the station’s orbit in space.
Currently on board the International Space Station are two Russian astronauts, Sergey Rijikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, and NASA astronauts, Kathleen Robins, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, as well as Japanese astronaut, Soishi Noguchi.