A Russian spacecraft carrying a three-man crew has taken a shortcut to the International Space Station (ISS), reaching the orbital outpost only hours after it blasted off from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome.
NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin traveled less than six hours in a Soyuz capsule before the spacecraft successfully docked with the ISS on March 29.
Previous station crews took at least two days to reach the station, a research laboratory that orbits some 400 kilometers above Earth.
The expedited route has been tested with three Progress cargo ships, an unmanned version of the Soyuz used to ferry supplies to the space station.
The incoming crew will spend five months in space before returning to Earth.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AP