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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The crew of the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft set to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in October is preparing for a record fast flight, with the route calculated to take about three hours, Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre said on Wednesday.
“The ISS-64 crew is preparing to fly on a two-turn route to the space station … It will be possible to fly to the ISS on the Soyuz MS spaceship in three hours and 20 minutes,” the centre said in a statement.
The launch of the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft from the Baikonur spaceport is scheduled for October 14. The main crew includes NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins, and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, who are expected to remain at the ISS until April 17, 2021.
Russian space freighters usually use a standard two-day (34 turns) or short six-hour (four turns) circuits to reach the ISS. Soyuz spacecraft have been flying to the station with the six-hour route.
Since 2018, Progress spacecraft have tested the three-hour route and successfully reached the ISS multiple times.