Space Station aims for golfing record

Space Station aims for golfing record

Six-iron tee-shot expected to spend four years in orbit

An unmanned spacecraft has docked with the International Space Station, carrying presents, supplies and golfing equipment that could allow a Russian cosmonaut to hit the longest drive in history.

"The docking went very smoothly. Absolutely no problems," said Nasa commentator Rob Navias at Mission Control in Houston.

Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov will tee-off from the hull of the Space Station with a golf club from a Canadian manufacturer as part of an advertising stunt.

Scientists have calculated that the ball could orbit the Earth for four years before burning up on re-entry.

This is not the first time that golf has made it beyond the gravity well. Apollo 14 captain Alan Shepard became the first space golfer, hitting a ball over two kilometres with a six-iron strapped to a surveying instrument after slicing his first shot.

Astronauts on the Space Station also took delivery of Easter presents including food and DVDs, as well as three satellites made by MIT which will be used to practise formation flying in space.

The Progress M-56 that blasted off on Monday from the Russian Space Centre in Baikonur, Kazakhstan also delivered 2.5 tons of food water, fuel, oxygen and scientific equipment.