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Unpiloted Russian Cargo Ship Reaches Space Station In Record Time

The Progress cargo ship made the trip to the ISS in under four hours. (file photo)

An unpiloted Russian space cargo ship loaded with 2.8 tons of food, fuel, and other supplies has reached the International Space Station (ISS) in record time.

The Progress MS-09 lifted off as scheduled at 3:51 a.m. local time on July 10 from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a journey that lasted just under four hours.

It marked the shortest the travel time for ferrying supplies for the crew, beating the previous Progress journeys of about six hours.

Piloted craft traditionally take two days or 34 orbits to reach the ISS.

Russia's space agency, Roskosmos, said the faster trip was possible because of a new version of the Soyuz booster rocket.

The station's current crew includes NASA astronauts Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold, and Serena Aunon-Chancellor; a European Space Agency astronaut from Germany, Alexander Gerst; and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Prokopyev.

Based on reporting by AP, CBS, and NASA