Progress cargo spacecraft makes fastest-ever trip to space station

NASA launch live stream ISS in space

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

The Progress 70 resupply ship, loaded with nearly 2,721 kgs of food, fuel and supplies, is set to launch from Baikonur space port in Kazakhstan at 3.51 am (Kazakhstan time) on Tuesday. The ship, called Progress, took off from its launch site in Kazakhstan at just before 10 p.m. GMT and arrived at the space station just a few hours later. That would be the fastest trip yet for a mission to the space station. In the past, it took the Progress ships up to two days to reach the space outpost. Well, the specifics are a bit vague on Russia's end, but the gist is that the Russian space agency is now using an updated navigation system on its resupply missions.

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 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.

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This is the spacecraft's first attempt of a fast-track orbital rendezvous with ISS. The vehicles look like Russia's crewed, three-module Soyuz spacecraft but can not carry people.

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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