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Russia launches cargo spacecraft after aborted liftoff

AFP  |  \R Moscow 

today launched an unmanned cargo ship to the after a glitch led officials to postpone the planned liftoff two days earlier.

The Soyuz rocket carrying the ship took off from the snow-covered Baikonur cosmodrome in at 11:15 am time (0815 GMT) and reached its designated orbit several minutes later, the Russian space agency said.

"We have liftoff!" the Roscosmos space agency tweeted.

The cargo ship is carrying dry cargo, fuel, water, oxygen and air to the crew of the ISS.

It is also carrying equipment for the experimental ICARUS project, an animal tracking system that will be installed on the outer surface of the station.

The launch of the was initially scheduled for Sunday but was postponed at the last minute until today due to an unspecified problem.

Space industry sources told Russian agencies that the onboard computer of the Soyuz rocket had to be replaced.

Reasons for the aborted launch were being investigated.

The Sunday launch was supposed to take the Progress to the in a record time of just over three hours for the first time by using a new scheme to dock with the ISS after taking just two orbits around the Earth.

However today had to opt for the old, two-day rendezvous due to orbital mechanics, with the docking expected to take place Thursday afternoon.

Six men are currently at the including Russian cosmonauts and and NASA astronauts Joe Acaba, and

Russias once-proud space industry has suffered a series of setbacks over recent years, with officials losing a number of satellites and other

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 13 2018. 15:40 IST