Manned flights to the International Space Station (ISS), in a three-hour ultra-fast scheme involving twice the Earth, will begin in a year and a half, said Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos.
"We are planning to repeat the launch of the Progress cargo spacecraft in a two-speed ultracroster scheme next March.
"The flight time is three hours. In a year and a half, we will deliver the cosmonauts and space tourists to the ISS faster than a flight from Moscow to Brussels," Rogozin said. tweeted on Sunday.
He also confirmed that the next cargo spacecraft would be launched on March 28 under an ultra-fast scheme, Sputnik said.
For decades, spacecraft with crew and cargo usually flew for about 50 hours before reaching the ISS.
In 2013, Russia introduced a six-hour route to the International Space Station, consisting of four orbits.
In early July, the MS-09 Progress spacecraft was the first to be launched on the ISS under the three-hour schedule.
According to Roscosmos, the decision to test the new operating scheme was taken only after the spacecraft was spatial and the necessary conditions were confirmed.
"The two-speed scheme for spacecraft coupling with ISS will be used for the first time in the history of space flights," the agency said.
Coupling with the ISS occurred three hours and 40 minutes after launching the spacecraft nine minutes before the estimated time.
The previous record was five hours and 39 minutes, according to the report.