Russians successfully launch Progress to ISS

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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After a last minute scrub earlier this week, the Russians this morning successfully used their Soyuz rocket to launch a Progress freighter into orbit, bringing supplies to ISS.

It will take the freighter two days to rendezvous with ISS.

This launch extends the Russian leader over SpaceX for the most launches in 2017 to 17-15.


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  • Richard M

    My guess is that Russia will end up with 19, and SpaceX, 18. (Each has four notional launches on the manifest for the remainder of 2017; fair guess is that Falcon Heavy and the two Rokot launches will slide to 1Q 2018).

    But this is very likely the last year that Russia will end up ahead of SpaceX. How far the mighty have fallen.

  • Kirk

    Today the FCC approved licenses associated with a SpaceX launch from Florida, NET 10 November, with the booster returning to land, which does not align with any payloads on the manifest. There is a lot of guessing going on as to what it is. NSF thread:

  • Edward

    It is kind of fun that you have created another space race, even if it is only we who read your site that watch it unfold. It looks like it could be a photo finish with a win by a nosecone.

  • Edward: Though I started noting the yearly launch race count in January and was among a few that were somewhat ahead of the curve, I’m not the only one now doing it. I think it is the normal consequence of healthy competition: People notice and get involved in the race. It is, as you say, fun!

    A long time ago I wrote an essay for a small comic book fan publication about the importance of fun when we talk about space exploration. We don’t just do it because we learn something new or because it serves the particular interests of our nation. We do it because exploration is fun.

    We must always remember the importance of fun in everything we do. It adds spark to the activity, and keeps us alive.

  • Edward

    Ah, yes. That January 11 post is among my favorite posts. When people ask me how many launches there are each year, I tell them “a little under 100.” I had not realized, before this year, how far that had dropped for a while in the first decade of this century.

    I agree that fun is important. Fun and enjoyment are what spice is for. (Spice in food, spice for life, etc.)

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