Unpiloted Russian Cargo Ship Reaches Space Station 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

A Russian spacecraft has set a new speed record for sending cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). 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. Its flight lasted only 3 hrs 40 mins versus the previous 6 or so hours taken up by a pattern presupposing four revolutions around the planet.

It marked the first time such fast-track approach was used. Elon Musk's SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo supplier and Northrop Grumman's Cygnus take several days to reach the station.

A second attempt earlier this year in February hit the same roadblock with Progress 69: A last-minute glitch forced Roscosmos to abort the launch a minute before liftoff. Ultimately, Progress 69 launched on the 2-day flight profile as well. The craft has brought over 2.5 tons of water, fuel, food and other supplies, extending the entire crucial provision supply to at least mid-January 2019. The vehicles look like Russia's crewed, three-module Soyuz spacecraft but can not carry people.

Progress spacecraft are disposable vehicles that are packed with trash and unneeded items and intentionally burned up in Earth's atmosphere at mission's end.

The Progress MS-09 or Progress 70 cargo ship-the former name is used by the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, and the latter by NASA-only did two orbits of Earth before docking with the ISS.

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