Latest Space Station crew docks in record time following successful launch


The spacecraft left for the space station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:45 am EDT or 11:15 am IST.

Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin, Ivan Vagner, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, as well as NASA astronauts Christopher Cassidy and Kathleen Rubins are now working on the ISS.

The space capsule docked at the International Space Station at 2.48 p.m. Nur-Sultan time, in three hours and three minutes for the first time in history, according to Roscosmos, after completing just two orbits around the Earth.

Only an unmanned Progress cargo space ship has previously used this profile, which requires just two orbits before docking.

Since ending the space shuttle program in 2011, NASA has depended on Russian Federation to transport astronauts to the ISS.

In May, after five years of development, Elon Musk's aeronautics company, SpaceX, and NASA, launched the first manned flight from U.S. soil in almost a decade.

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The emergence of private players SpaceX and Boeing - part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program - has fuelled talk of a new "space race" between a number of countries.

On the International Space Station, the Electron-VM oxygen production system has failed in the Russian Orbital Segment.

Ryzhikov is the commander of flight MS-17 and will take over the command of the ISS from astronaut Chris Cassidy.

Before joining the US space agency, NASA, Rubins worked as a microbiologist and was involved in research on viruses.

This is actually the second spaceflight for Ryzhikov, Rubins, and Kud-Sverchkov and also will make them the 241st people to visit this unique microgravity laboratory.

On the eve of the launch, Ryzhikov expressed sadness over ongoing fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh and said he hoped the example of the ISS could help "spread love, friendship and comradeship". Rogozin on Monday said he didn't conceive Moscow taking an interest "for a huge scope" in a NASA-drove Moon-orbiting station known as The Gateway.