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Cargo Craft Progress 49: Expedition 33 Aboard ISS Welcomes Halloween Visitor

Nov 01, 2012 08:34 AM EDT
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Russian space freighter Progress 49 was successfully docked to the international space station (ISS) Wednesday, just three days after the privately-owned Dragon capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean off the Baja California coast.

Progress 49, carrying 2.9 tons of cargo supplies, blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:41 a.m. ET and was docked to the space station at 9:33 a.m., nearly six hours after its take off.

The cargo supplies included, 2,050 pounds of propellant, 62 pounds of oxygen, 42 pounds of air, 926 pounds of water and 2,738 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware and maintenance equipment, according to NASA reports.

The crew members aboard the ISS will conduct leak checks at the docking interface before opening the hatch to unload the cargo. Once the cargo is completely removed, the spacecraft will be filled with trash before it will be undocked and sent to Earth in April 2013 for disposal.

It has been a busy week for Expedition 33 commander Sunita Williams and her crew members aboard the space station. A Russian Soyuz spacecraft with three new crew members arrived at the ISS few days ago, after which the Dragon capsule, collecting experiment samples, was unberthed from the Harmony module before it splashed down in the Pacific Sunday (Oct.28).

Now that they have welcomed another spacecraft to the ISS, the Expedition 33/34 crew has to prepare for a scheduled spacewalk Thursday (Nov.2). Commader Williams and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) configured tools that they will be using during their 6.5 hour spacewalk beginning at 8.15 a.m.

They will also go out to the port side of the station's truss to repair an ammonia leak in one of the station's radiators.

NASA TV will start covering the spacewalk from 7:15 a.m. Thursday.

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