Russian cargo ship arrives at International Space Station

Location of the International Space Station at the time of Progress MS-09’s scheduled launch today

It was launched at 5:51 p.m. ET by a Soyuz-2 rocket from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome.

If all goes well, the automated Progress will catch up with its quarry after a series of carefully timed rendezvous rocket firings to adjust the supply ship's altitude, gliding to a docking at the station's Earth-facing Pirs module around 9:39 p.m. - less than four hours after launch. (1,565 kg) of other "dry" cargo like food and other equipment, NASA public affairs officer Dan Huot told Space.com in an email. The country had positioned to accomplish during headway missions in October 2017 and February of this year but redesigned both in the two day expedition succeeding take off hampering close the orbital-dynamics window needed for uncommonly swift trip. Progress 70 should make the trip in just over 3.5 hours.

It marked the first time such fast-track approach was used.

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The goal is to shorten the time it takes a crew to reach the station inside a cramped Soyuz ferry ship, a trip that traditionally took two days, or 34 orbits. Again, that Progress spacecraft flew with the old two-day flight profile instead. Progress 70 will stay linked to the space station until January 2019, when it will be discarded, NASA officials said.

Progress 70 is not ready to come home yet. The next cargo shipment is scheduled to arrive in September on a Japanese Kounotori spacecraft, also known as the H-2 Transfer Vehicle (HTV). However, NASA has contracted private spaceflight companies to launch the agency's cargo shipments.

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