The International Space Station constantly needs supplies and space agencies are scheduling resupply missions regularly. Just last week SpaceX sent one of the company’s Dragon cargo ships to the International Space Station in order to deliver everything necessary for the astronomers there. Russia also planned a resupply mission for its cosmonauts on the ISS on board of its Progress 73 cargo vessel.
Breaking the record like nothing
But what Russia did to distinguish itself, and for that matter to set a record, was that the trip to the ISS lasted a little over three hours. Yes, you read that right. A mere three hours. It might not seem such a short time with today’s innovative technologies, but actually, a trip from Earth to the ISS usually takes around three days.
So how did Russia do it?
The expandable cargo spacecraft was launched with the help of a Soyuz rocket. Once in space, it orbited twice our planet before speedily heading to the ISS. The spacecraft did not need more than three hours to reach its destination. It is important to mention that the duration of these journeys might vary as it depends on the number of orbits it has to make around Earth in order to find itself in the perfect position to dock on the International Space Station. Even so, the missions are still the only ones to reach the ISS that fast.
The spacecraft Progress 73 had on its board around 5,500 pounds of supplies, amongst then being 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water and more than 1,700 pounds of fuel. The rest of the cargo is comprised of food, clothing and an assortment of supplies that the cosmonauts have to unload from the spacecraft.
Roscosmos has mastered these extremely fast resupply missions and created a precedent in accelerated trips to space. Maybe other space agencies will follow suit and innovate their travels to space.