A Russian spacecraft has set a new record for the fastest trip to the International Space Station. It took the unmanned Progress spacecraft less than four hours to dock at the space station after launch. The spacecraft was on a mission to deliver food, fuel, and other supplies to the International Space Station.
The Progress 70 spacecraft blasted off at the scheduled time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:51 p.m. ET and docked at the International Space Station at 9:31 p.m. ET. It made its journey aboard a Soyuz-2 rocket.
The spacecraft was loaded with almost three tons of food, fuel, and supplies. It will remain at the orbital outpost until late January next year. NASA said in a news release that this trip demonstrated an expedited capability which may be used on future Russian cargo and crew launches.
It’s particularly impressive when you consider that most other spacecraft require as many as three days to make the journey. The Russian Soyuz spacecraft had already made it to the space station in under six hours but with the Progress 70 launch, the Russians have set a new record which may not be broken for a while. Russian space agency Roscosmos was able to set this record in its third attempt following two previous orbits of Earth.
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. Watch: https://t.co/mzKW5uDsTi pic.twitter.com/HfB51po4cM
— NASA (@NASA) July 10, 2018