Space Race: Astronauts break record for quickest journey to International Space Station - making trip in less time than standard flight from London to New York

 

A trio of astronauts have broken the record for the quickest journey to the International Space Station, arriving there just six hours after setting off from a launch pad in Kazakhstan.

The three men – Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin from Russia, and Chris Cassidy from the USA – blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in their Soyuz spacecraft yesterday evening.

They arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) at 2:28 GMT today, after travelling for under six hours – a shorter journey time than a standard flight from London to New York.

The voyage usually takes around 50 hours, but today’s super-fast journey time was achieved by setting off from Kazakhstan just after the ISS passed overhead in orbit.

The Soyuz capsule had also been fitted with newly-improved thrusters, and orbited the Earth just four times before arriving at their destination.

On previous missions, spacecrafts have orbited the Earth around 30 times before arriving at the ISS.

The shorter flight path was tested in an attempt to reduce the crew’s fatigue, and allow them to be in top shape for docking.

The three men will now spend around five months at the ISS alongside three other astronauts - American Tom Marshburn, Russian Roman Romanenko and Canadian Chris Hadfield - who have been there since December.

Upon arrival, Vinogradov joked “Hey, is anyone home?” as he floated into the station, before greeting the other astronauts. The new arrivals then communicated with Mission Control, and spoke with friends and relatives back on Earth.

Mr Vinogradov also joked that the crew could have even taken ice cream along for their colleagues.

"With such a short flight time, it would not be able to melt", he said.

The successful voyage will help to restore the reputation of the Russian space programme, which has recently been damaged after a number of failed satellite launches in the past year.

Russia is currently the only nation capable of transporting humans to the ISS, following the retirement of the US space shuttle in 2011.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicHunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original  manuscripts
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
lifeAiming to show breasts in a non-sexual way for cancer awareness
New Articles
i100... while following the referendum
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
Arts and Entertainment
tvBut something’s not quite right
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week