Russian cargo ship docks with International Space Station

A Russian cargo capsule with 2.5 tons of supplies docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday after the fastest such trip yet from the earth, the national space agency Roscosmos said.

The Progress capsule was launched atop a giant Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, reaching the space station in just three hours and 20 minutes, making it “the fastest spacecraft in the history of flights to the ISS,” Roscosmos said.

The Progress, which docked with the ISS automatically at 0512 GMT, was carrying fuel, water scientific equipment, food, clothes, and medicines.

According to the TASS news agency, it delivered 420 kilograms of water, 46 kilograms of oxygen, 700 kilograms of fuel, and 1,350 kilograms of dry cargo.

Roscosmos said the mission was dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi forces, which Russia usually marks with great fanfare and a massive military parade in Moscow.

However, this year’s May 9 events have been drastically cut back because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ISS currently has three crew members – American Chris Cassidy, Russians Ivan Vagner, and Anatoly Ivanishin – who boarded earlier this month.

The ISS is now a rare example of cooperation between Russia and the West. It has been orbiting Earth at about 28,000 kilometers (17,000 miles) per hour since 1998.

The previous cargo delivered to the ISS on December 6, 2019. That time, the flight took three days. The Progress reached the ISS in two days but idled for another day to provide NASA with a reserve day to dock the Dragon spacecraft.

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