December 21, 2005

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-3749

Rob Navias
Johnson Space Center, Houston
Phone: (281) 483-5111



Supplies and holiday gifts are on the way to the International Space
Station following today’s Progress spacecraft launch from the
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The 20th supply ship to visit the station lifted off at 1:38 p.m. EST.
Less than 10 minutes later, the spacecraft reached orbit and
successfully deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas for
the two-day trip.

Two pre-programmed firings of the craft’s main engine later today will
fine-tune the ship’s path to the station. Additional rendezvous
maneuvers are planned Thursday and Friday.

At launch time, Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight
Engineer Valery Tokarev were flying 220 miles over the south Pacific,
west of Chile. Flight controllers informed them of the launch as the
Progress reached orbit.

The craft is carrying nearly three tons of food, water, fuel, oxygen,
air, spare parts and holiday presents. It is scheduled to
automatically dock to the station’s Pirs Docking Compartment at 2:54
p.m. EST, Friday. NASA TV live coverage of the docking begins at 2
p.m. EST, Friday.

The Progress docked to the station’s Zvezda Service Module’s aft port
will remain there until early March. The crew will stow trash in the
Progress and use its oxygen supply to replenish station cabin

Engineers are studying data to learn what may have caused last
Friday’s severing of a cable that provides power, command and video
connections to the Mobile Transporter rail car. Two redundant cable
reels support the Mobile Transporter and Mobile Base System, a
movable platform that allows the station’s robotic arm to move back
and forth along the truss during construction and maintenance work.

The Trailing Umbilical System 2 cable appears to have been cut by the
system designed to sever it if it ever became snarled or tangled.
Video down linked from station cameras confirmed the cable was cut.
The Trailing Umbilical System 1 was not affected.

The inadvertent severing of the cable tripped one of two redundant
circuit breakers on the S0 Truss, which provides power to the Mobile
Transporter. The transporter is not scheduled to be used in the near
future, but the severed Trailing Umbilical System 2 cable can be
replaced through a spacewalk to provide the required redundancy.

For information about crew activities, future launch dates and station
sighting opportunities on the Web, visit:

NASA TV’s Public, Education and Media channels are available on an
MPEG-2 digital C-band signal accessed via satellite AMC-6, at 72
degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical
polarization. In Alaska and Hawaii, they’re on AMC-7 at 137 degrees
west longitude, transponder 18C, at 4060 MHz, horizontal
polarization. A Digital Video Broadcast compliant Integrated Receiver
Decoder is required for reception. For digital downlink information
for each NASA TV channel and access to NASA TV’s Public Channel on
the Web, visit:


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