Washington: Carrying almost three tonnes of food, fuel and supplies for the International Space Station crew, an unpiloted Russian Progress 68 cargo spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Saturday at 2.46 pm local time.

Following a 34-orbit, two-day trip, Progress will arrive at the Pirs docking compartment of the space station for docking on Monday, NASA scientists wrote in a blog post.

At the time of launch, the International Space Station was flying about 400 kilometres over the south Atlantic Ocean north of the Falkland Islands,

Less than 10 minutes after launch, the resupply ship reached preliminary orbit and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned.

The Expedition 53 crew will monitor key events during Progress 68's approach and docking.