Following two failed missions over the last few months, the International Space Station (ISS) has finally received a visit from an unmanned craft packed with supplies. The Russian Progress 60 cargo ship, which docked with the ISS early Sunday, brought with it three tons of food, fuel and supplies, “including 1,940 pounds of propellant, 106 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water, and 3,133 pounds of spare parts, supplies and experiment hardware,” NASA said.
It’s not clear if that experiment hardware includes Microsoft’s HoloLens, two pairs of which were lost in the SpaceX supply flight last week when the rocket exploded minutes after takeoff. Microsoft’s AR tech is set to be used by ISS crew members as a new tool for communicating with ground operators and to help with complicated repairs on the space station.
Sunday’s supply mission is the first to reach the ISS since April 17. Besides last week’s failed SpaceX flight, a Russian spacecraft that left Earth on April 28 also failed to reach the space station.
Despite the loss of two supply rockets in recent months, NASA said the crew on board the ISS were never in any danger and had enough supplies for another three months. Still, everyone involved in Sunday’s effort, not least the astronauts on board the station, will have been mightily relieved to have seen this latest mission go without a hitch. Indeed, American astronaut Scott Kelly welcomed the arrival of the cargo spacecraft with an understandably upbeat tweet:
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) July 5, 2015
Two Russian cosmonauts are also on board the ISS – Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko. Padalka hit the headlines last week for breaking the record for the longest number of days in space. He’s now been off terra firma for 811 days, and aims to make it to at least 1,000.