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Next Soyuz manned space mission will use fast track approach to International Space Station

7 Mar 2013, 11:25 UTC
Next Soyuz manned space mission will use fast track approach to International Space Station
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Having proved the concept on previous Progress cargo missions, Roscosmos and NASA have agreed that the next Soyuz manned space mission, Soyuz TMA-08M, will use a fast rendezvous approach method to reduce its launch-to-docking time with the International Space Station from two days to less than six hours. The Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft will be launched at 2043 GMT on 28 March, shortly after the International Space Station passes over the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome near Tyuratam in Kazakhstan.
The previous slower method is more fuel efficent and allowed more time for the crew to become used to the microgravity environment. Nevertheless, the Soyuz spacecraft remans a cramped and unconfortable place to be for long periods of time and for crew comfort, it has been decided to go for the shorter if more complicated method.

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