Progress MS-14 Reaches Space Station
Russian Federal Space Agency launched their Soyuz 2.1a rocket to resupply the ISS.
9:51 pm EST April 24th, or 1:51 am UTC April 25th, The Russians launched their 75th mission to resupply the International Space Station. Launched atop a Soyuz 2.1a "Victory Rocket" from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan the Progress MS-14 with 1,350 kg of supplies, 420 liters of water and food along with hygienic essentials for expedition 63.
As the Russians will often use space missions to mark historic national events, this one will be special as it have a unique paint scheme, marked with symbols special to the Russian people. Namely the logo the the 75th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the "Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945" where they were victorious over Nazi Germany when they invade the Soviet Union during WWII.
This will be the first Russian resupply flight of the year. After the pre-launch stand alone process, Progress MS-14 was encapsulated within it's payload fairings on April 18th and shipped on the 20th to the integration facility where it was mated with the Blok-I second stage of it's Soyuz 2.1a rocket. After mating was complete the third stage was attached to the top of the Soyuz 2.1a Blok-A core stage, finishing the rocket integration on April 21.
This was the 103rd flight of the Soyuz 2 rocket and the 45th flight of the 2.1a variant. The 2.1a first took flight on November 8th, 2004 and was last used just two weeks ago, launching the three crew member of Expedition 63 to the International Space Station.
Photo credit: Roscosm
Progress MS-14 conducted what is called a "Fast-track rendezvous" to the ISS, which only took three hours to launch the rocket and dock at the space station. Roscosmos wants to eventually speed up the time even more between launching and docking. Progress MS-14 is to supply the Expedition 63 crew, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, and the two Roscosmos Cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin, and Ivan Vagner. Cassidy is the current ISS Expedition 63 commander. The next group of astronauts schedule to launch to the station will be Bob Behnken, and Doug Hurley on May 27th when SpaceX will make their first ever Commercial Crew launch from the United States.