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Russian Progress MS-09 Spacecraft Reaches International Space Station in Record Time

11 Jul 2018, 18:06 UTC
Russian Progress MS-09 Spacecraft Reaches International Space Station in Record Time
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Russia’s Progress MS-09 freighter launched atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and docked with the International Space Station in less than four hours—a mere 2.5 laps around Earth.Liftoff from Site 31 at the Cosmodrome took place at 5:51 p.m. EDT (21:51 GMT) July 9, 2018. Once in orbit, the spacecraft began a series of automated burns to catch up with and dock to the station’s Pirs docking compartment. Docking took place at 9:31 p.m. EDT (00:31 GMT July 10).“I think it finally worked out for us,” said Vladimir Solovyov, the chief Russian flight director, to the two cosmonauts aboard the ISS, Expedition 56 flight engineers Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev. “This is very promising in support of our upcoming plans both for the current program and the programs of the future. So this is definitely a giant step forward. We’ve been waiting for this milestone for a long time and hopefully this will become the rule of thumb from here on out.”Achieving a 2.5-orbit rendezvous isn’t easy. In fact, it requires a lot of advanced planning both on the ground and at the ISS to ensure the station’s orbital plane crosses the launch site while the ...

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