In a single year, an average cargo container ship travels the equivalent of 75% of the way to the moon and back during its regular travel across the ocean. Thanks to some innovative new projects, however, cargo ships aren’t just traveling the equivalent distance of going to space, they are actually traveling to space.
According to Space.com, Russia is launching a care package for astronauts onboard the International Space Station in a shipment. The cargo shipment, called Progress 71, will launch a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Liftoff will be broadcasted through NASA’s livestream.
The Progress 71 cargo capsule is stocked with 2.8 tons of supplies for three astronauts currently living and working on the orbiting laboratory. Approximately 50% of the cargo is spare parts for the space facility, and the other 50% is carrying fuel, oxygen, air, and water supplies.
According to Handy Shipping Guide, heavy lift and outsize air cargo specialist Volga-Dnepr Airlines, along with freight forwarding outfit Bollore Logistics, has delivered a historic shipment, which will soon be heading out into the vacuum of space along with a human crew.
The Russian headquartered group was tasked with the shipment of the first European Service Module (ESM). In 2022, the historic space program will even take the astronauts, as well as 10 tons of supporting equipment, beyond low Earth orbit.
“It is an honour for us to be supporting such a significant and historic endeavour. Providing specialist transportation for the aerospace industry is one of Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ key areas expertise and every year we operate more than 50 flights carrying various space cargoes, including satellites, parts of spacecraft, rockets and boosters,” said Konstantin Vekshin, Executive President for Cargo Charter Operations at Volga-Dnepr Airlines. “The unique capabilities of our Antonov 124-100 and Ilyushin 76TD-90VD freighters … enables our team of experts to provide safe, secure, time-saving and cost-efficient solutions.”