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WATCH: Russian rocket carrying food, water & fuel for astronauts on International Space Station launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome

A Russian space freighter taking fuel, water, food, and oxygen to the International Space Station was launched from a Soyuz carrier rocket early on Wednesday morning, blasting off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

The vessel, named Progress MS-17, is now en route to the Space Station, where it will dock and provide supplies for the crew of Expedition 65. The trip will take two days, and Progress MS will remain attached to the artificial satellite for a few months.

The spacecraft entered orbit approximately nine minutes after the launch, when it separated from the Soyuz-2.1a rocket. Baikonur is a cosmodrome in Kazakhstan that is leased by Russia.

The cargo carried by the freighter includes 470 kg of fuel, 420 liters of drinking water, and 40 kg of air and oxygen, as well as 1,509 kg of equipment and materials, including maintenance kits, medical supplies, clothes, and food rations.

The Progress MS vehicle is an improvement of the Soviet Progress freighter from 1978. The newest version, first launched in December 2015, has regularly been sent to deliver supplies to astronauts and cosmonauts on the International Space Station.

Also on rt.com Moscow to QUIT International Space Station in 2025 unless Washington lifts restrictive sanctions, says Russian space boss

Earlier this month, Russian space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin revealed that Moscow would withdraw from the International Space Station if Washington continues to impose sanctions against the country’s space sector. As things stand, US measures against Russia are causing severe problems for the space program.

If Russia leaves the ISS, it will create its own orbital space station called ROSS. Earlier this year, President Vladimir Putin signed off on plans to build the Russian project, which will consist of three to seven modules and will be able to carry up to four people.

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