Russian Cargo Ship Brings Astronauts Easter Gifts, Supplies

A Russian cargo ship carrying food and supplies as well as Easter gifts blasted off Monday for the international space station, the Russian space agency said.

The unmanned Progress M-56 ship lifted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at around 08:03 p.m. (1603 GMT), said the space agency's press service.

The spacecraft, which is scheduled to dock at the orbiting space station on Wednesday, is transporting 2.6 metric tons of fuel, food and water, along with DVDs, CDs and books.

Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and U.S astronaut Jeffrey Williams began a six-month mission on the international space station on April 1. The Progress vessel is also carrying parcels from the cosmonauts' families with Easter gifts, the Russian space agency said.