It isn’t only postal services that can boast same-day delivery: three tonnes of food, fuel and supplies will make their way to the International Space Station in a whirlwind 4-hour transport flight today.
The Russian-produced spacecraft will mark the fastest cargo ship ever to make a trip to the International Space Station when it docks on Monday night.
Such flights originally took two days to reach the station before Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, cut that trip down to six hours in 2013. The latest delivery should make this trip in just over 3.5 hours.
A Soyuz rocket is scheduled to launch the uncrewed Progress 70 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with almost three tons of supplies for the space station’s crew.
Following two orbits of the planet, Progress 70 is scheduled to arrive at the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station. It will remained docked to the station until late January 2019.
#ПрогрессМС09: прямая трансляция с космодрома #Байконур, откуда в скором времени будет запущен грузовой корабль «Прогресс МС-09»→ https://t.co/tL30gTow3Y. Пуск в 00:51 мск
Live broadcast from the #Baikonur cosmodrome→ https://t.co/tL30gTow3Y. The launch at 21:51 UTC pic.twitter.com/vd1mdrOEsx
— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) July 9, 2018
Expedition 56 crew onboard the ISS will monitor key events during Progress 70’s approach and docking.
If all goes well, the robotic Progress 70 will dock at 9.39 pm EDT – making it the fastest trip yet for a mission to the space station.
Video cameras have been installed for the first time aboard the resupply ship to capture every angle of the launch, Roscosmos told state media agency Tass.
In the future, Roscosmos intends to integrate videos from onboard video cameras into other launch companies to popularize space exploration.
Roscosmos Deputy CEO for Automated Space Systems Mikhail Khailov said video cameras show the rocket’s flight in real time when it delivers a booster and payload into interim orbit. Video cameras were also installed on Fregat boosters to track the payload delivery into the designated orbit, he said.
Nasa will also broadcast the launch live here.