The seven-ton Progress M-46 space ship, which was launched on Wednesday, June 26th, at 09:36 a.m. Moscow time, from the Baikonur launching site /Kazakhstan/, has entered an approach orbit to the International Space Station /ISS/. This information has been disclosed by the press service of the Russian Space Troop.
"The space ship has entered the destination orbit whose parametres are 245 km in aphelion and 193 km in perihelion," the press service added. "A booster with spaceship on-board entered the orbit in a routine mode. The ship's approach to the ISS is currently controlled by the command and measurement complex of the Russian Space Troop." The mission's primary objective is to deliver to the ISS fuel, equipment for scientific research programmes, food and banderoles for the crew and mission documentation. The total weight of the cargo is 2.4 tons, the press service reported.
The fifth long-term expedition, which includes crew leader Russian cosmonaut Valery Korzun, flight engineer Russian cosmonaut Sergei Treshchev and flight engineer US astronaut Paggy Witson, took over the duty on-board the ISS on June 6th.
Russian experts will contact the ship to correct its approach trajectory several times during the mission. The ship is expected to automatically dock to the ISS on June 29th at 10:22 a.m. Moscow time, the Russian Space Troop has been quoted as saying.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969