Russian cargo ship arrives at International Space Station

Progress 70 spaceship

Progress 70 spaceship

Dr Gerst, a geophysicist who was selected in 2009 to take part in space training and is now on his second space mission, wrote: "By orbiting the Earth nearly 16 times per day, the #ISS crew travel the distance to the Moon and back - every day".

NASA predicted the freighter's "expedited capability. may be used on future Russian cargo and crew launches" in its coverage of the Russian cargo spacecraft's launch last week.

Roscosmos first launched Progress cargo missions to the ISS in 2000; back then, it would take about two days for one of the spacecraft to chase down the orbiting lab after launch. 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. Progress-MS-09 is expected to dock to the ISS on July 10 at 04:39 Moscow time. It will stay at the orbital outpost until the end of January 2019.

Progress 70 is not ready to come home yet.

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It marked the shortest the travel time for ferrying supplies for the crew, beating the previous Progress journeys of about six hours.

The engine on Northrup Grumman's Cygnus cargo ship fired for 50 seconds Tuesday at 4:25 p.m. EDT to reboost the station in a test created to verify an additional capability to adjust the station's altitude, if required. "Third time was the charm".

NASA doesn't have its own rockets or vehicles to use in sending cargo to the ISS. Another Progress cargo-delivery mission, Progress 71, is scheduled to launch in late October.

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