Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
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Russian cargo ship docks at ISS in record time

Russian cargo ship docks at ISS in record time

The Progress 70 resupply ship, loaded with nearly 2,721 kgs of food, fuel and supplies, is set to launch from Baikonur space port in Kazakhstan at 3.51 am (Kazakhstan time) on Tuesday.

Russian Cargo Ship MS-09 successfully docked International Space Station with food, fuel and other supplies. The fastest-ever cargo run took less than four hours, rather than the usual two days, due to a carefully planned, time-saving, two-orbit trajectory that Russian Federation wants to use for crewed as well as uncrewed flights. Progress spacecraft (and crew-carrying Soyuz capsules) originally took two days to reach the station before Roscosmos cut that trip down to 6 hours in 2013.

The Progress 70 launch is Russia's third attempt to fly a superfast mission to the space station.

It marked the first time such fast-track approach was used. Ultimately, Progress 69 launched on the 2-day flight profile as well.

"The length of the flight, between departure to its docking at the station, was 3 hours 40 minutes", the agency said in a statement, adding that it was a "first in the history of Progress cargo ships". The vehicles look like Russia's crewed, three-module Soyuz spacecraft but can not carry people.

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