Russian Progress cargo reaches Space Station in record time
11 July, 2018, 12:23 | Author: Kelly Sanders
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.
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).
It marked the first time such fast-track approach was used.
The SpaceX's 15th cargo flight to the space station that launched on June 29 took three days to reach the space station. Experts at Russia's Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, the developer and manufacturer of space launch vehicles, find it possible to design a pattern of launching space vehicles towards the International Space Station that will involve only one revolution around the Earth, the Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos said in a report on Tuesday.
Today's mission was unmanned, but the Russian space agency hopes to use this optimized route for future manned trips to the space station as well.
Roscosmos first tried to use the new maneuver past year, but it was aborted for technical reasons.
Roscosmos director Dmitry Rogozin hailed the faster rendezvous as a "big step forward" in a call with Russian crew on board the station after the docking.
The station's current crew includes NASA astronauts Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold, and Serena Aunon-Chancellor; a European Space Agency astronaut from Germany, Alexander Gerst; and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Prokopyev.
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