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Russian cargo ship docks with Mir one day late

A Russian cargo ship carrying a backup computer and other crucial supplies has docked with the Mir space station - one day later than planned.

The unmanned Progress M-36 docked successfully a few minutes ahead of schedule Wednesday. It will take the crew about an hour to make sure the seal is tight between the cargo ship and Mir before opening the hatch.The docking had been planned for Tuesday, but was delayed because an old garbage-filled supply ship that occupied the docking port failed to detach on command Monday.

The crew of the space station discovered that they had neglected to properly unhook one of 16 latches holding the ship to the port. After the latch was released, the old cargo ship disengaged smoothly Tuesday.

The Progess M-36, which was launched Sunday and had been waiting in orbit for the docking, is carrying 2 tons of equipment and supplies, including drinking water and fuel.

The space shuttle Atlantis, which left Mir last week, delivered a back-up computer and other important equipment, including sealant for holes punched when a cargo ship slammed into Mir's Spektr module during a practice docking in June.

Russian flight control chief Vladimir Solovyov has said that the crew hoped to repair all the damage to the Spektr before the end of the year. Three more spacewalks are planned to fix the damage, Solovyov has said.

The Atlantis also brought up U.S. astronaut David Wolf, who will spend four months on the Russian space station.