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    Russian rocket delivers supplies to Space Station


    by ODN


    A Russian Progress rocket has arrived at the International Space Station laden with three tonnes of food, fuel and supplies.

    The six-member station crew, led by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, stood by as Progress docked at 2:39am GMT.

    When the Progress rocket docked, it was about 220 miles above the coast of Uruguay, according to Nasa which provided live video coverage of the arrival.

    The rocket, which lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday, is the second of a quartet of spaceships due to arrive at the orbital outpost over the next month.

    Following the arrival of a robotic Japanese cargo ship on Thursday, the arrival of the Russian rocket will boost confidence that supply lines to the $100 billion Space Station, a project of 16 nations, will remain fully operational after Nasa retires its space shuttle fleet in about six months.

    Japan's HTV-2 spacecraft, Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicles and Russian Progress capsules will become the station's lifelines after two or three more space shuttle flights.

    The shuttle program is ending after 30 years due to high operating costs and to free up funds to develop US spaceships that can travel beyond the station's orbit 220 miles above Earth.