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

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

A Russian robotic spacecraft has smashed the record for the time taken to reach the International Space Station (ISS), managing the feat in a mere three hours and 40 minutes.

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 spacecraft is expected to dock at the space station at 9:39 p.m. ET. That would be the fastest trip yet for a mission to the space station.

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev were on board the station and ready to take over manual control of the craft should any problems occur, but the docking proceeded in a fully automatic mode.

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. Ultimately, Progress 69 launched on the 2-day flight profile as well. The "Progress" was launched at 2151 GMT on Monday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and arrived at the space station in the early hours of Tuesday, the agency said. The vehicles look like Russia's crewed, three-module Soyuz spacecraft but can not carry people.

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