Russian Progress cargo reaches Space Station in record time

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This handout photo released by Roscosmos space agency on November 29, 2016 shows service towers moving towards the Soyuz-U carrier rocket.

MOSCOW – A Russian cargo vessel took just three hours and 40 minutes to reach the International Space Station on Tuesday,  Roscosmos space agency said, smashing the record flight time by two hours.

The "Progress" launched at 2151 GMT on Monday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and arrived at the space station in the early hours of Tuesday, the agency said.



"The length of the flight, between departure to its docking at the station, was three hours 40 minutes," the agency said in a statement, adding that it was a "first in the history of Progress cargo ships".

The previous record was five hours 39 minutes, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

READ: Crew of 3 docks at International Space Station

The shorter flight time of the Progress MS-09, carried on a Soyuz 2.1 rocket, was made possible by a new navigation system.

In February, a Progress MS-07 launch was cancelled at the last minute after another attempt in October 2016.

Tuesday&39;s flight brought ISS residents more than two tonnes of material -- mainly fuel but also oxygen, water and material for scientific experiments.