updated 9/7/2005 5:24:34 PM ET 2005-09-07T21:24:34

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. ET, 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 1.1 tons (1 metric ton) 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.

On Oct. 1, a replacement crew of Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev and NASA astronaut William McArthur is set to blast off for the station, along with Gregory Olsen, an American scientist who is paying the Russian space agency $20 million for a weeklong visit. Olsen will then return with Krikalev and Phillips.

The grounding of the U.S. shuttle fleet following the 2003 Columbia disaster had left the Russian ships as the only way to ferry supplies and crew to the space station.

After a large chunk of foam insulation broke off Discovery's modified fuel tank during liftoff on July 26, NASA again has grounded the entire shuttle fleet, and the next shuttle mission is expected to take place sometime next year.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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