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Russian ship sets record for space station cargo run

A robotic Russian Progress cargo craft today was sent on a “fast-track” trajectory that got it to the International Space Station in less time than it takes to drive from Seattle to Spokane. Liftoff of the Progress’ Soyuz rocket from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan came at 2:51 p.m. PT. The Progress and its payload, consisting of nearly three tons’ worth of food, fuel and supplies, arrived at the orbital outpost at 6:31 p.m. PT. The fastest-ever cargo run took less than four hours, rather than the usual two days, due to a carefully planned, time-saving, two-orbit trajectory that Russia wants to use for crewed as well as uncrewed flights.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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