Russian spacecraft completes fastest-ever orbital rendezvous with International Space Station

Rodiano Bonacci
Luglio 13, 2018

Carrying nearly three tons of fuel, air, tools, food and care packages for the crew, the Progress completed only two orbits around the planet before docking at the station.

"The less-than-four-hour trip will demonstrate an expedited capability that may be used on future Russian cargo and crew launches", NASA said in a news release.

If all goes well, the robotic Progress 70 spacecraft will dock itself at a Russian port on the station at 9:39 p.m. EDT (0139 July 10 GMT).

At the moment of launch, the International Space Station, streaking through space at almost five miles per second, was expected to be just 370 miles to the southwest of Baikonur. 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. It will take the ISS' crew several months to unload all of it, but once Progress 70 has been emptied, it's slated to bring the 16-foot, 8,000-pound Pirs docking compartment, originally attached to the ISS in 2011, back to Earth. Usually, Progress capsules are sent away to burn up in Earth's atmosphere after ISS crewmembers stuff the vessels with waste. However, this one will be staying at the ISS until January 2019. This will be replaced with the new Multipurpose Laboratory Module Nauka, whose launch date is yet to be decided.

Progress 70 is not ready to come home yet.

Russia's Progress spacecraft are not the only vehicles that transport crew supplies and science gear to the ISS.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE