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First 'express' flight to the International Space Station cuts travel time from two days to six hours

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international space station
international space station

Typically, trips from the earth to the International Space Station take about two days — but today, the first manned "express" flight to the ISS took off and expects to make the journey in only six hours. The flight, manned by one NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts, took off today at 4:43 PM EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan; it's expected to dock by 12:10 AM EDT tonight. While this is the first manned flight to make this express flight (in which the Soyuz spacecraft makes four orbits of the earth before reaching the ISS), a number of unmanned cargo flights have already made the quick journey. Once the Soyuz spacecraft arrives, the three astronauts will stay at the ISS for the next six months. If you're interested in watching this historically quick flight arrive, you can tune in to NASA TV tonight starting at 11:30 PM EDT.