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Russian Progress 70 Becomes Fastest Spacecraft to Reach the Space Station

Russian Progress 70 Becomes Fastest Spacecraft to Reach the Space Station

The entire event since the launch of the unmanned spacecraft until docking aired live on NASA Television and the agency's website.

Russia's Progress cargo ships have been keeping the space station stocked with supplies since 2000, when the first crew took up residence on the orbiting lab. 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.

Progress 70 connected with the space station as both spacecraft navigated high over the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand.

Russian Federation has consistently tried to keep cargo trips to the space station below six hours, setting a new precedent for a trip which used to take two days.

But it seemed that fortune favored Progress 70. It will stay at the orbital outpost until the end of January 2019. The first Progress launch was in 1978 to the Soviet space station Salyut 6.

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. Two other robotic vessels now resupply the ISS as well - SpaceX's Dragon capsule and the Cygnus spacecraft, which is built by Northrop Grumman.

This launch was the third attempt made by Roscosmos to achieve a trip of this speed, only needing to orbit the Earth twice.

The engine on Northrup Grumman's Cygnus cargo ship fired for 50 seconds Tuesday at 4:25 p.m. EDT to reboost the station in a test created to verify an additional capability to adjust the station's altitude, if required. He holds a B.A.in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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