Russian Progress resupply mission docks with ISS hours after launch

Cesar Mills
July 13, 2018

This was the first Russian cargo mission to demonstrate an "expedited capability" that will likely be used again in future, NASA said in a statement.

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. The freighter, designated Progress 70, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:51 EDT and arrived at the ISS at 9:31 EDT after successfully docking with the station.

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. NASA calls this Progress 70 or 70P because it is the 70th Progress launched to the ISS. It was built by Russian S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia and was launched in space in 2001.

The goal is to shorten the time it takes a crew to reach the station inside a cramped Soyuz ferry ship, a trip that traditionally took two days, or 34 orbits.

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A Russian cargo ship has delivered a fresh load of fuel, food, and other supplies for the International Space Station.

Today's launch marks the third attempt to send a Progress cargo ship to the ISS via this new fast track. Again, that Progress spacecraft flew with the old two-day flight profile instead.

"A ideal launch", Navias said of Progress 70's liftoff. That mission, HTV-7, will take about 4 hours to reach the ISS after launching from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center.

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