Russia - A Russian cargo ship is linked to the ISS International Space Station, barely 3 hours and 40 minutes after it was launched. That is a new world record, as the Russian space agency "Roskosmos" said.
The unmanned cargo Progress MS-08 was launched just before midnight Belgian time with a Soyuz launcher from the base Baikonur in Kazakhstan. At 3.31 pm Belgian time the cargo spaceship was riveted to the ISS.
According to the usual route, a Progress will dock after about two days or 34 orbits around the earth. The fastest link so far happened after 5 hours and 39 minutes, four orbits around the earth.
The even faster connections - in about 3 hours and 30 minutes or two orbits around the earth - are possible thanks to a new system of satellite navigation. In February, a Progress could dock for the first time, but the launch was canceled at the last minute. Eventually, the route was completed in two days as always.
The Russian space agency wants to shortly also use the short route for manned flights.
Progress MS-09 has more than two tons of goods for the ISS, including fuel, oxygen, water and scientific equipment.
Three Americans, two Russians and a German are currently living and working in the ISS.