Russia's Robotic Cargo Spacecraft Smashes Record for Trip to International Space Station

James Marshall
July 13, 2018

A Russian Progress cargo spacecraft on a Soyuz booster carrying supplies for the International Space Station crew has successfully completed its record-breaking two-orbit trip in less than four hours.

Russian cargo resupply trips to the International Space Station have become such a regular, predictable thing that even NASA rarely bothers to make a big deal out of them, but today's resupply mission is worth some attention.

Now, if you don't keep up with the minutia of space travel that might just sound like a number, so to give you some context, the previous record was five hours and 39 minutes.

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". NASA calls this Progress 70 or 70P because it is the 70th Progress launched to the ISS.

This is the spacecraft's first attempt of a fast-track orbital rendezvous with ISS. In the past, it took the Progress ships about six hours or two days to reach the space outpost. Because the launch was aborted during the final moments of the countdown, the mission missed its chance to take the fast route to the ISS.

But it seemed that fortune favored Progress 70.

Russia's Progress spacecraft are not the only vehicles that transport crew supplies and science gear to the ISS. However, NASA has contracted private spaceflight companies to launch the agency's cargo shipments.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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