September 8, 2005

Junk in Zero G: Space Station Dumps Its Garbage

MOSCOW - The crew aboard the international space station put out the garbage Wednesday, loading a Russian cargo ship with more than a ton of trash and jettisoning the spacecraft, which fell into the Pacific Ocean, officials said. Fragments of the Progress M-53 splashed in the Pacific at 10:13 a.m. EDT, Mission Control said in a statement.

Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and U.S. astronaut John Phillips on board the station had loaded the ship with 1.12 tons of waste and used equipment.

The routine move freed up a docking port on the station for the arrival of the next cargo ship, the Progress M-54, which is due to lift off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday.

It will carry about 2.8 tons of fuel, food, water and technical supplies, including a replacement cartridge for the station's oxygen generator.

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