Russian cargo ship launched to space station

October 30, 2011 - 6:10 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian cargo ship has been launched successfully to the International Space Station, easing concerns about the station's future after a previous failed launch.

Mission Control spokesman Valery Lyndin said that the unmanned Progress M-13M blasted off as scheduled at 2:11 p.m. Moscow time (1011 GMT) Sunday from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. He said the ship successfully reached a designated orbit and is set to dock at the station Wednesday.

A Progress launch failure in August that was blamed on a manufacturing flaw cast doubts about future missions to the station, because the upper stage of the booster rocket carrying the cargo ship to orbit is similar to that used to launch astronauts.

The Russian spacecraft are the only link to the station after NASA retired the space shuttle in July.