Two Russian cosmonauts and a US astronaut have travelled to the International Space Station in record time.
They arrived at the research laboratory, 400 kilometres above Earth, less than six hours after their Soyuz capsule blasted off from Kazakhstan.
It is the first time the short cut has been used to fly a crew to the station, shaving about 45 hours off the normal journey time.
All previous station teams, whether flying aboard NASA’s now-retired space shuttles or on Russian Soyuz capsules, took at least two days to reach the base.
Russian engineers have been investigating alternative flight paths for the past three years. The new route was tested out during unmanned cargo flights.