Russia Fastest Cargo spacecraft to reach ISS in a few hours, today: Live update

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The spacecraft will remain docked at the ISS until January 2019, NASA officials said (reprsentational image)
The spacecraft will remain docked at the ISS until January 2019, NASA officials said (reprsentational image)

New Delhi : Russia has launched a cargo spacecraft launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on July 9 to transport supplies to the crew of Expedition 56 in record time. Interestingly, the cargo is arriving ISS in less than 4 hours after lifting off, thereby setting a new record for fastest trip to space station.

Loaded with nearly 3 tons (2.7 metric tons) of food, fuel and other supplies, the robotic Progress 70 freighter lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Russian Soyuz rocket at 5:51 p.m. EDT (2151 GMT; 3:51 a.m. July 10 local time).

"We have liftoff of the Progress resupply ship, heading into the express lane, bound for the International Space Station," NASA spokesman Rob Navias said during live commentary. 

Scientists expected that the cargo ship will arrive at the space station tonight at 9:39 p.m. EDT (0139 GMT on July 10), completing the trip in a record time of 3 hours and 48 minutes. "The less-than-4-hour trip will demonstrate an expedited capability that may be used on future Russian cargo and crew launches," NASA officials said in a statement. Now, it seems that the robotic ship will reach ISS before the scheduled arrival time.

When it arrives at the ISS, the Progress spacecraft will dock at the Russian Pirs module. NASA TV will telecast live coverage of the spacecraft's arrival and docking at the ISS, and you can watch it live here starting at 9 p.m. EDT (0100 GMT).

After the spacecraft reach ISS, the six crewmembers of Expedition 56 will spend the next few months unloading the cargo, which includes 1,170 lbs. (530 kilograms) of propellant, 115 lbs. (52 kg) of oxygen gas, 930 lbs. (420 kg) of water, and 3,450 lbs. (1,565 kg) of other "dry" cargo like food and other equipment, NASA public affairs officer Dan Huot told Space.com in an email.

The spacecraft will remain docked at the ISS until January 2019, NASA officials said in the statement.