Russian spacecraft aims to break record for fastest trip to space station

Russian spacecraft aims to break record for fastest trip to space station

The Progress MS-09 lifted off as scheduled at 3:51 a.m. Tuesday (5:51 p.m. EDT Monday) from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Progress 70 connected with the space station as both spacecraft navigated high over the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand.

Coverage, which began July 9, aired on NASA Television and the agency´s website. (530 kilograms) of propellant, 115 lbs.

A German astronaut has shared a breathtaking photo he took of the moon from the International Space Station (ISS).

The spacecraft will remain docked at the ISS until January 2019, NASA officials said in the statement. Progress 70 should make the trip in just over 3.5 hours.

Well, the specifics are a bit vague on Russia's end, but the gist is that the Russian space agency is now using an updated navigation system on its resupply missions.

When Progress finally leaves the ISS, it will bring the 17-year-old Pirs docking compartment along with it. Roscosmos will be replacing it with the Multipurpose Laboratory Module that's dubbed Nauka.

Roscosmos first launched Progress cargo missions to the ISS in 2000; back then, it would take about two days for one of the spacecraft to chase down the orbiting lab after launch. And there was an advantage; the spacecraft landed eight minutes early rendering the trip to be completed faster than expected.

It marked the first time such fast-track approach was used. The previous record time from takeoff to docking was around six hours, and that involved four orbits.

Progress 70 is not ready to come home yet.

"A ideal launch", Navias said of Progress 70's liftoff.

Roscosmos, Russia's space agency, believes that the unprecedented speed was due to the newest version of the Soyuz booster rocket as it was able to get the ship into orbit with greater precision. That mission, HTV-7, will take about 4 hours to reach the ISS after launching from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center.

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