Wednesday 7 December 2016

Spacecraft carrying three crew docks at International Space Station

Published 04/09/2015 | 11:54

The Soyuz spacecraft launched from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (AP)
The Soyuz spacecraft launched from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (AP)

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying three crew has docked at the International Space Station after a two-day flight.

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The arrival of Russia's Sergei Volkov, Denmark's Andreas Mogensen and Kazakhstan's Aidyn Aimbetov brings the number of crew on the orbiting outpost to nine for the first time since November 2013.

Mr Mogensen and Mr Aimbetov will return to Earth on September 12 along with Russian Gennady Padalka, the current station commander.

Russian Mission Control said the Soyuz, which blasted off on Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, docked on time.

For two years, crews have taken a more direct, six-hour flight, but this time the Russian Federal Space Agency decided to revert to the traditional route for safety reasons.

Command will be passed to Nasa's Scott Kelly, who along with Mikhail Kornienko of Russia is spending a full year on the station to study the effects of long space travel in preparation for a possible trip to Mars.

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