Progress blasts off for space station

A Russian cargo ship blasted off from the steppes of Kazakhstan carrying supplies for the international space station.

The Progress M-54 ship lifted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome at around 1308GMT with fuel, food, water and technical supplies aboard, a spokeswoman for the Russian space agency told. Besides, the cargo includes a replacement cartridge for the station's oxygen generator. A day earlier the station's current residents - Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and U.S. astronaut John Phillips - loaded up another Progress ship with garbage and sent it plummeting into Earth's atmosphere, where it mostly burned up.

A replacement crew for the space station was scheduled to blast off on Oct. 1, along with Gregory Olsen, a U.S. scientist who is paying the Russian space agency US$20 million) for a weeklong visit to the international space station, the AP reports.

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