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Watch live: Russian freighter closing in on space station

The International Space Station is set to receive its second cargo shipment in less than 24 hours Friday with the automated linkup of a Russian Progress refueling and resupply freighter.

The Progress MS-05 spaceship is closing in to dock with the space station’s Pirs module at 0834 GMT (3:34 a.m. EST) Friday, two days after blasting off from Kazakhstan on top of a Soyuz rocket.

The radar-guided docking should be completed by the Progress cargo craft’s on-board computer, but cosmonauts inside the space station will be standing by to take manual control if the autopilot runs into trouble.

Friday’s docking will come less than a day after a commercial SpaceX-owned Dragon supply ship arrived at the space station, pulling within range of the research lab’s robotic arm for capture and berthing to the Harmony module on the U.S. section of the complex.

The Russian Progress spacecraft will dock with the Earth-facing Pirs module on the Russian segment, where it is slated to remain until mid-June, when it will depart and burn up in Earth’s atmosphere to dispose of the space station’s trash, making way for the next logistics mission.

The Progress MS-05 mission, known as Progress 66P in the space station’s visiting vehicle manifest, is carrying around 5,820 pounds, or 2,640 kilograms, of cargo and propellant to replenish stocks on the space station.

About 2,903 pounds (1,317 kilograms) of the material is dry cargo — spare parts, food, clothing and experiments — and another 1,940 pounds (880 kilograms) is propellant for refueling of the space station’s fuel tanks.

The mission will also deliver 926 pounds (420 kilograms) of fresh water and about 51 pounds (23 kilograms) of oxygen.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

Source: Space Flight

Watch live: Russian freighter closing in on space station

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