Three cosmonauts successfully arrived at the ISS, became the first people who have experienced the new "express" route, which cuts travel time from two days to just six hours.
The crew of the Union, Russians Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin, along with the American Criss Cassidy, docked to the ISS on Thursday, after starting from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. On the way to the station was committed just four turns around the Earth, instead of the usual two-day flight from launch to docking Russian spacecraft.
Although this shorter route was tested twice on the unmanned Progress cargo, this was the first test flight with the participation of the people. Such an accelerated route was made possible by sophisticated ballistic maneuvers that reduced flight hours and 45 instead of 30 revolutions around the Earth, making only four.
This not only saves time crew languishing in cramped Soyuz capsule, but also to save fuel, oxygen and other supplies, lay in store for emergencies. Now the team will have time to maneuver, because the maximum time of the Union in the orbit is limited to four days.
At a press conference Vinogradov reported that more than a short flight crew will maintain strength and energy that would be required to dock.
The new team will have at the station five and a half months.