A Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which is set to deliver the crew of the next mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in record time, has been placed on its launch pad, at the iconic Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The trip will be faster than a flight from Moscow to London! Preparations for the lift-off, which is scheduled for next Wednesday, at the facility.
The Soyuz-2.1a rocket and the Soyuz MS-17 crew ship were transported out of the assembly hall on Sunday morning, Russian space agency Roscosmos reported.
After separating from the launch rocket the Soyuz, with three crew on board will travel to the ISS. While the nature of the mission is routine, the trip itself stands out for its planned speed.
The flight plan includes just two orbits before a rendezvous with the Space Station and will take just over three hours. That’s faster than a Moscow to London flight.
Manned missions to the orbiting laboratory currently require some six hours between lift off and docking.
However, Progress space freighters have been making faster supply trips since 2018, when the Progress MS-09 reached its destination in about three hours and 40 minutes.
The crew of Wednesday’s launch includes Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point Space Travel News 2020.