Progress cargo spacecraft makes fastest-ever trip to space station

13 Juillet, 2018, 00:45 | Auteur: Therese Cote

Dr Gerst, a geophysicist who was selected in 2009 to take part in space training and is now on his second space mission, wrote: "By orbiting the Earth nearly 16 times per day, the #ISS crew travel the distance to the Moon and back - every day".

It marked the first time such fast-track approach was used.

A Soyuz rocket is scheduled to launch the uncrewed Progress 70 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:51 p.m. EDT (2151 GMT) to deliver almost 3 tons of supplies for the space station's crew. The of late concluded flight was made to display accelerated capacity that may be utilized on subsequent Russian cargo and crew launches wrote NASA officials.

'ARRIVAL! Traveling about 250 miles over the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand, the unpiloted Russian Progress 70 cargo ship docked to the @Space_Station at 9:31pm ET'. Previously resupply missions with "Progress" spacecraft have taken either six hours (four orbits) or two days (34 orbits).

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Russia's space agency Roscosmos said the faster maneuver became possible thanks to a new version of the Soyuz booster rocket, noting that it puts the ship into orbit with higher precision. Again, that Progress spacecraft flew with the old two-day flight profile instead. It will stay at the orbital outpost until the end of January 2019.

But it seemed that fortune favored Progress 70.

NASA doesn't have its own rockets or vehicles to use in sending cargo to the ISS. In February, a Progress MS-07 launch was cancelled at the last minute after another attempt in October 2016.

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