Two-orbit manned trips to ISS possible after Progress cargo craft's test flights
The two-orbit flight will last three hours
Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos may consider the possibility of using a two-orbit pattern (lasting three hours from lift-off to docking) for the manned Soyuz MS spacecraft taking crews to the ISS after a series of tests involving the unmanned cargo spacecraft Progress, a Roscosmos spokesman said.
"After the two-orbit trip pattern has been tested with the use of Progress MS cargo craft, the documentation will be analyzed and amended. The possibility of using the two-orbit flight path for launching manned Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS will be considered only after that," the official said.
Earlier, Roscosmos said that the cargo spacecraft Progress MS-07, due to be put in space from the Baikonur space site in Kazakhstan with a Soyuz 2.1a rocket on October 12, will for the first time reach the ISS within three hours after orbiting the Earth twice. The corporation added that the spacecraft would use an experimental flight path.
The current fastest pattern of sending cargo and manned spacecraft to the USS continues for six hours. Still earlier, it took spacecraft two days to reach the ISS.
The two-orbit flight will last three hours. Under the current six-hour pattern the spacecraft orbits the Earth four times.