Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Aug 2, 2012
An unmanned Russian cargo ship docked with the International Space Station (ISS) in a record time, officials said Thursday, taking just under six hours from launch to complete the journey.
In the past, the journey has taken two days.
While the test flight was with an unmanned cargo spacecraft, if the new docking technique proves reliable it will dramatically cut the amount of time cosmonauts spend aboard the Soyuz spacecraft on their way to the space station.
The Progress M-16M, loaded with more than 2,600 kilogrammes of fuel, oxygen and other supplies linked up with the ISS at 05:18 am Moscow time (0118 GMT).
A Soyuz-U rocket carrying the cargo vessel had blasted into space from the Baikonur cosmodrome at 23:35 pm Wednesday (1935 GMT).
"The docking between the cargo ship and the ISS was performed according to a four-orbit scheme for the first time in history," said the Russian Mission Control Centre.
Mission control spokeswoman Natalia Biketova said a cargo ship had been used in this case, as the procedure was still in the test phase.
Thursday's smooth docking is a much-needed boost to the Russian space programme, which has been beset by a slew of technical problems over the past year.
During that period, Russia has lost half a dozen satellites and a Progress cargo vessel bound for the ISS.
Station and More at Roscosmos
S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
Russian Space News
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|