Progress M-51 was launched by a Soyuz-U carrier rocket from Site 1/5 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Launch occurred at 22:19:34 GMT on 23 December 2004. The spacecraft docked with the Aft port of the Zvezda module at 23:57:45 GMT on 25 December. It remained docked for two months before undocking at 16:06:30 GMT on 27 February 2005 to make way for Progress M-52. Between undocking and deorbit, Progress M-51 was used for a series of tests. It was deorbited at 16:17:00 GMT on 9 March 2005. The spacecraft burned up in the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean, with any remaining debris landing in the ocean at around 17:03:11 GMT.
Progress M-51 carried supplies to the International Space Station, including food, water and oxygen for the crew and equipment for conducting scientific research.
Payloads are separated by bullets ( · ), launches by pipes ( | ). Manned flights are indicated in bold text. Uncatalogued launch failures are listed in italics. Payloads deployed from other spacecraft are denoted in brackets.