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Russian spaceship makes shortest journey to dock with ISS


17:13, March 29, 2013

MOSCOW, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Russian spaceship Soyuz TMA-08M has docked at the International Space Station (ISS) within six hours, the fastest ever journey to the orbiting laboratory, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said Friday.

The Soyuz-FG rocket, carrying the Soyuz TMA-08M spaceship, was launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 00:43 Moscow time Friday (2043 GMT Thursday). The spacecraft docked a Russian Poisk module of the ISS at 06:28 Moscow time (0228 GMT), Roscosmos said.

The Soyuz made the journey under a six-hour "beeline" scheme after orbiting the Earth four times instead of the usual 30 times.

This was the first time that such scheme was used for a manned space flight as the shortcut option was used only for missions of unmanned cargo ships before.

The crew of Russian Pavel Vinogradov, Alexander Misurkin and American Christopher Cassidy are expected to spend the next five months aboard the station after joining incumbent crew Canadian Chris Hadfield, Russian Roman Romanenko and American Thomas Mashburn.

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