Russia sent an unmanned transporter with more than two tons of food, fuel, and materials for experiments into space on Thursday.
The state news agency, TASS, quoted the central flight agency near Moscow as saying that the Soyuz rocket took off from the Russian-operated Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The spacecraft is set to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) within three hours.
Only once before, in July 2018, has a rocket taken the shortened path to the station, about 400 kilometres from Earth’s surface.
Russia said then that it would continue testing the shortened trajectory so that it could be used regularly and eventually be tested for manned operations.
At the moment, three U.S. citizens, two Russians, and one Canadian have been stationed at the ISS.