World

Russian cargo ship lifts off to International Space Station, vital success after 2 failures

  • In this image taken from video, a Soyuz-U rocket blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, July 3, 2015. The unmanned cargo ship is heading to the International Space Station, whose crew is anxiously awaiting it after the successive failures of two previous supply missions. (NASA TV via AP)

    In this image taken from video, a Soyuz-U rocket blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, July 3, 2015. The unmanned cargo ship is heading to the International Space Station, whose crew is anxiously awaiting it after the successive failures of two previous supply missions. (NASA TV via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this image taken from video, a Soyuz-U rocket blasts off from the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, July 3, 2015. The unmanned cargo ship is heading to the International Space Station, whose crew is anxiously awaiting it after the successive failures of two previous supply missions. (NASA TV via AP)

    In this image taken from video, a Soyuz-U rocket blasts off from the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, July 3, 2015. The unmanned cargo ship is heading to the International Space Station, whose crew is anxiously awaiting it after the successive failures of two previous supply missions. (NASA TV via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • AP10ThingsToSee - The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft break apart shortly after liftoff from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, June 28, 2015. The rocket was carrying supplies to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

    AP10ThingsToSee - The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft break apart shortly after liftoff from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, June 28, 2015. The rocket was carrying supplies to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)  (The Associated Press)

A Russian rocket has successfully launched an unmanned cargo ship to the International Space Station, whose crew is anxiously awaiting it after the successive failures of two previous supply missions.

A Soyuz-U rocket blasted off as scheduled from Russia-leased Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan, placing the Progress M-28M cargo ship into a designated orbit.

The previous Progress launch in April ended in failure, and on Sunday a U.S. supply mission failed too when SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket broke apart shortly after liftoff. The success of Friday's launch is essential for the station program, which has relied on Russian spacecraft for ferrying crews after the grounding of the U.S. shuttle fleet.

The next station crew's launch has been pushed back from late May to late July after April's failure.