A Russian Spacecraft Just Delivered Supplies to the ISS in Less Time Than a Flight From L.A. to New York

Tuesday, 10 July 2018 - 12:38PM
Space
Technology
Tuesday, 10 July 2018 - 12:38PM
A Russian Spacecraft Just Delivered Supplies to the ISS in Less Time Than a Flight From L.A. to New York
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Image Credit: Pixabay/Public Domain
After two failed attempts, the Russian space agency Roscosmos has successfully sent a cargo freighter to the ISS via a new "fast track" method that allows for deliveries to be made in record time: less than four hours, a big improvement from the previous standard, which was around two days. The freighter, designated Progress 70, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:51 EDT and arrived at the ISS at 9:31 EDT after successfully docking with the station.



Progress 70 was carrying almost 3 tons of supplies, including "1,170 lbs. of propellant, 115 lbs. of oxygen gas, 930 lbs. of water, and 3,450 lbs. of other "dry" cargo like food and other equipment," according to Space.com. 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. The Pirs compartment will be replaced with a new module, the long-delayed Multipurpose Laboratory Module, which was originally scheduled to join the ISS in 2007. Normally, cargo vessels are filled with waste from the station and sent to burn up in Earth's atmosphere after unloading their inventory.

International Space Station - 3D scan - Module by Patrick on Sketchfab


Progress 68 and 69 were supposed to follow the same faster route to the ISS as 70, but both were re-routed at the last minute before launching and diverted to the longer two-day trajectory. After the live launch commentary for Progress 70 earlier today, NASA spokesperson Rob Navias was quoted as saying "[It was a] perfect launch. Third time was the charm."

Though it arrived in record time, Progress 70 is bound to be a let-down after the previous shipment that made it to the ISS, which included Death Wish Coffee, ice cream bars, Texas blueberries, and a floating AI ball named CIMON.

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