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Russia is launching today a cargo ship to the International Space Station. Mission control said on Tuesday that the Progress M-05M freighter, already the second this year, would lift off atop a Soyuz rocket at 21:15 Moscow time from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan to deliver over 2.5 tons of supplies, including equipment, parcels from home, fruits and vegetables, chocolate, candy, new video films and books. Four more Progress space tugs and the European Space Agency's second Automated Transfer Vehicle will be heading to the ISS before the end of this year, Roskosmos officials said, Itar-Tass reported.
Russian Mission Control Center on Friday held a maneuver to change the orbit of the ISS using the eight engines of the cargo ship "Progress". During the work the average height of the orbit increased by about 5 kilometers and is now at about 350 kilometers. The purpose of this maneuver was to correct the orbit for the scheduled May 1st docking with the Progress M-05M ", as well as to create favorable conditions for docking with the shuttle Atlantis and for the landing of the Soyuz TMA-17. Returning back to Earth on the "Soyuz" will be Oleg Kotov, Timothy Creamer and Soiti Noguchi, who have been manning the ISS since late last year.