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3 astronauts blast off on express ride to ISS

3 astronauts blast off on  express ride to ISS
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The slash in travel time from over two days to just six hours to the ISS has been made possible because of technological improvements, which mean the...

The slash in travel time from over two days to just six hours to the ISS has been made possible because of technological improvements, which mean the Soyuz will only need to orbit the Earth four times before docking with the ISS whereas previously some 30 orbits had to be made iss1Baikonur (AFP): A crew of two Russians and an American blasted off on Friday on a Russian rocket for the International Space Station, in a trip scheduled to be the fastest ever manned journey to the facility. he trio successfully launched from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, with a journey time expected to be just six hours compared with the previous time of over two days. Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin and American Chris Cassidy are expected to spend the next five months aboard the station after they dock later in the day. The initial stages of the launch on the Soyuz-FG rocket were completed without a hitch, mission control in Moscow said, leaving the Soyuz-TMA capsule ready for its fast track ride to the ISS. The slash in travel time has been made possible because technological improvements mean the Soyuz will only need to orbit the Earth four times before docking with the ISS whereas previously some 30 orbits had to be made. The manned "express" flight comes after Russia successfully sent three Progress supply capsules in August, October and February to the station via the short six hour route rather than two days. After docking at 0231 GMT on Friday, on board they will join incumbent crew Chris Hadfield of Canada, Tom Marshburn of NASA and Russia's Roman Romanenko.
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