Progress 60 spacecraft shakes off the bad luck to re-supply the ISS
The Russian Progress 60 cargo craft has successfully docked with the International Space Station following a two-day orbital rendezvous period. In the wake of a series of spacecraft losses, the success of the Progress 60 mission will allow the space station's crew and administrators to breath a little easier.
Prior to the Russian mission, attempts to re-supply the space station had been met with repeated failure. Last month's SpaceX CRS-7 spacecraft carrying 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) of scientific experiments, station components, and crew supplies was lost 2 minutes 18 seconds after launch, as its Falcon 9 rocket experienced a fatal fault causing the launch vehicle and its cargo to break up over the Atlantic Ocean.
The loss of CRS-7 came in the wake of two earlier failed re-supply missions, Progress 59, and Orbital Science's Cygnus space freighter. The Russian Progress 59 spacecraft achieved an initial orbital insertion, but after experiencing a terminal loss of telemetry soon after launch, was allowed to slide back into Earth's atmosphere.