Science

Russian cargo ship arrives at International Space Station

Russian cargo ship arrives at International Space Station

"The less-than-four-hour trip will demonstrate an expedited capability that may be used on future Russian cargo and crew launches". The total time from launch to docking was three hours and 40 minutes.

After the spacecraft docks, the six crewmembers of Expedition 56 will spend the next few months unloading the cargo, which includes 1,170 lbs. It will stay at the orbital outpost until the end of January 2019.

Progress spacecraft are disposable vehicles that are packed with trash and unneeded items and intentionally burned up in Earth's atmosphere at mission's end.




Russia's space agency Roscosmos said the faster maneuver became possible thanks to a new version of the Soyuz booster rocket, noting that it puts the ship into orbit with higher precision. This will be replaced with the new Multipurpose Laboratory Module Nauka, whose launch date is yet to be decided. It is now scheduled to launch in August 2019, but that may be postponed again, to 2020, according to the Russian news agency Sputnik International. Progress 70 should make the trip in just over 3.5 hours. Well, the specifics are a bit vague on Russia's end, but the gist is that the Russian space agency is now using an updated navigation system on its resupply missions. Progress spacecraft (and crew-carrying Soyuz capsules) originally took two days to reach the station before Roscosmos cut that trip down to 6 hours in 2013. Ultimately, Progress 69 launched on the 2-day flight profile as well.

Progress 70 is not ready to come home yet.

"A ideal launch", Navias said of Progress 70's liftoff.