Russian Cargo Ship Makes Fastest-ever Trip to Space Station

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.

The swiftest former trips to the ISS secured a by Progress freighters and employees team conveying Russian Soyuz spacecraft, had engaged about 6 hours and demanded about four orbits of our planet. With today's launch, Roscosmos aims to demonstrate that an even faster trip is feasible.

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).

Progress Spacecraft are expendable vehicles that have been furnishing the ISS since 2000, the year astronauts initially assumed residence on the orbiting lab. NASA officials said that if everything works out as per the plan Progress 70 will remain connected to the station until January 2019. Usually, Progress capsules are sent away to burn up in Earth's atmosphere after ISS crewmembers stuff the vessels with waste.

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The first two attempts (last year in October and this year in February) were less fast due to launch delays that made the Russian space agency use an old trajectory that resulted in a two days' trip and 34 orbits.

It marked the first time such a fast-track approach was used.

Progress 70 is not ready to come home yet. It can sometimes take up to two days for the cargo vessel to chase down the space station as it cruises around the Earth, but the stars seemed to align this time around and made for a flawless, speedy supply run. The vehicles look like Russia's crewed, three-module Soyuz spacecraft but can not carry people.

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