This NASA handout photo shows a photo by astronaut Nick Hague. File/AFP
A Russian cargo capsule with 2.5 tons of supplies docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday after the fastest such trip yet from earth, the national space agency Roscosmos said.
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The Progress capsule was launched atop a giant Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, reaching the space station in just three hours and 20 minutes, making it "the fastest spacecraft in the history of flights to the ISS," Roscosmos said.
The Progress, which docked with the ISS automatically, was carrying fuel, water scientific equipment, food, clothes and medicines.
Roscosmos said the mission was dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi forces, which Russia usually marks with great fanfare and a massive military parade in Moscow.
However this year's May 9 events have been drastically cut back because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The ISS currently has three crew -- American Chris Cassidy and Russians Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin who boarded earlier this month.
The ISS is now a rare example of cooperation between Russia and the West. It has been orbiting Earth at about 28,000 kilometres (17,000 miles) per hour since 1998.Agence France-Presse
The craft launched a repeat of the docking manoeuvres after the failure of the first attempt, which had been scheduled to take place at 0530 GMT, the agencies said.
The mission is a mandatory two-day final exam for astronauts and cosmonauts at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in the Star City.
Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of Russia's Roscosmos space agency and NASA's Chris Cassidy will blast off at 08:05 GMT from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where COVID-19 has caused changes to pre-launch protocol.
Oleg Artemyev was nearly three hours into a six-hour spacewalk when voltage levels in his spacesuit's battery began to drop, prompting flight controllers in Moscow to order the cosmonaut's immediate return to the space station's airlock.
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