Russian cargo ship docks at ISS in record time
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) July 10, 2018
A Russian cargo vessel took just three hours and 40 minutes to reach the International Space Station on Tuesday, Roscosmos space agency said, smashing the record flight time by two hours.
The "Progress" 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 length of the flight, between departure to its docking at the station, was three hours 40 minutes," the agency said in a statement, adding that it was a "first in the history of Progress cargo ships".
The previous record was five hours 39 minutes, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
The shorter flight time of the Progress MS-09, carried on a Soyuz 2.1 rocket, was made possible by a new navigation system.
In February, a Progress MS-07 launch was cancelled at the last minute after another attempt in October 2016.
Tuesday's flight brought ISS residents more than two tonnes of material -- mainly fuel but also oxygen, water and material for scientific experiments.
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NASA has renewed a contract with Energia Rocket and Space Corporation on the maintenance and repair of a series of components of the lavatory onboard the US segment of the International Space Station, according to the Russian company's annual report. NASA bought the Energia-made space toilet in 2007 for $19 million after unsuccessful efforts by US engineers to create their own space toilet, with US designs facing a series of malfunctions before the US decided to switch to the Russian-made waste re ... read more
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