Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Russian Progress 70 Becomes Fastest Spacecraft to Reach the Space Station

Sandra Phillips | 13 July, 2018, 12:44

A Russian cargo vessel took just three hours and 40 minutes to reach the International Space Station on Tuesday, Roscosmos space agency said, smashing the record flight time by two hours.

It was reported earlier that Soyuz 2.1a rocket with Progress-MS-09 cargo spacecraft was launched for a fast-track orbital rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS) from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

If all goes well, the robotic Progress 70 spacecraft will dock itself at a Russian port on the station at 9:39 p.m. EDT (0139 July 10 GMT).

NASA said that the fast trip to the station was meant to test an expedited capability that could be used on future Russian cargo and crew launch missions.

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Usually, other spacecraft take 2-3 day to reach the space station. NASA has stated that to make such a fast docking with the ISS, the station must be near the launch base and that the timing isn't available every day. The previous record time from takeoff to docking was around six hours, and that involved four orbits.

The Progress carrier will stay docked to the ISS until January 2019, when it will be stuffed with trash and sent to burn up in the atmosphere, the Space.com website reports.

Russian Federation made it to the International Space Station in record speed, clocking in just three hours and 48 minutes from launch to docking. "Third time was the charm". The vehicles look like Russia's crewed, three-module Soyuz spacecraft but can not carry people.

The European Space Agency has also launched cargo to the ISS with that agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle, the last of which flew in 2014.

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