You can watch Russia launch a new space station cargo ship tonight. Here’s how.


A Russian cargo ship is set to launch to the International Space Station tonight, and you can watch it live.

The Progress 79 spacecraft is set to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan no earlier than 8 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, Oct. 27 (0000 GMT or 5 a.m. local time.)

You can watch the Progress 79 cargo ship launch live on this page and the Space.com homepage at launch time, courtesy of NASA TV. The webcast will begin at 7:45 p.m. EDT (2345 GMT). You can also watch it directly from NASA TV

NASA said Progress 79 will carry 3 tons (2.7 metric tons) of food, fuel and supplies for the space station crew, but provided no other specifics about the cargo in a brief statement or on its space station blog. Typically the ships carry replacements for equipment, fresh fruit and vegetables, and occasionally little gifts for the crew, who typically stay in space for at least six months at a time.

Related: How Russia’s Progress cargo ships work (infographic)

Progress 79 will take a two-day route to the International Space Station before docking at the aft port of the Zvezda service module at 9:34 p.m. EDT, Friday, Oct. 29 (0134 GMT Saturday, Oct. 30.) Live coverage of docking will begin with NASA that day at 8:45 p.m. EDT (0045 GMT.)

On Monday (Oct. 25), an update from NASA’s blog noted the Russian cosmonauts of Expedition 66 are undergoing standard backup training to prepare for the ship’s arrival.

“Cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov are training for that mission today practicing for the unlikely event they would have to take remote command of the Progress 79,” the agency said. “The pair from Roscosmos trained on the Zvezda service module’s tele-robotically operated rendezvous unit, or TORU, that would take control during the Progress 79’s automated approach and rendezvous.”

Progress 79 will spend about six months at the space station. The last cargo vehicle of the series, Progress 78, just changed ports and spent28 hours at a point about 120 miles (193 km) from the orbiting complex during a novel station keeping maneuver between undocking at the Poisk module and redocking at the new Nauka module.

Two Russian vehicles in recent months experienced unexpected glitches that affected the station’s operations. In late July, the Nauka module accidentally tilted the space station by about 540 degrees shortly after its own docking due to a software glitch. NASA said the crew was in no danger at the time. 

Then, on Oct. 15, a Soyuz MS-18 crew capsule that returned a film crew to Earth last week, briefly knocked the ISS off-orientation; NASA and Russian space agency Roscosmos are looking into what happened.)

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

Source: space.com

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