Russian cargo ship docks at ISS in record time

New Russian 'Progress 70' cargo ship could resupply ISS in under 4 hours

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

The mission will set a new speed record for space station trips: It's supposed to take less than 4 hours, NASA says.

Soyuz 2.1a rocket with Progress-MS-09 cargo spacecraft was launched for a fast-track orbital rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS) from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 00:51 Moscow time.

The unmanned spacecraft loaded with almost three tons of supplies docked at the station in automatic mode less than four hours after the launch. That new system is apparently a lot better than whatever they were using previously, and it's helped to make the trip much more efficient, thus cutting way down on the time it takes for its vehicles to arrive at the Space Station.

NASA said that the fast trip to the station was meant to test an expedited capability that could be used on future Russian cargo and crew launch missions.

"The length of the flight, between departure to its docking at the station, was 3 hours 40 minutes", the agency said in a statement, adding that it was a "first in the history of Progress cargo ships".

It was the third attempt to execute the short two-orbit flight scheme for the Progress MS freighter, which required a coordinated effort to realign the orbit of the ISS.Two previous attempts were hindered by delays in the final moments of the countdown that exceeded narrow launch opportunities for the fast-track flight.

A Russian cargo ship has delivered a fresh load of fuel, food, and other supplies for the International Space Station. The vehicles look like Russia's crewed, three-module Soyuz spacecraft but can not carry people.

The Progress carrier will stay docked to the ISS until January 2019, when it will be stuffed with trash and sent to burn up in the atmosphere, the Space.com website reports.

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