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Russian Soyuz spacecraft docks with space station


08:23, May 30, 2013

MOSCOW, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Russia's Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft carrying three astronauts docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, the federal space agency Roscosmos said.

"The manned spacecraft docked with the Rassvet module of the ISS. All systems function normally," Roscosmos Mission Control Center said in an announcement.

TV footage showed a Soyuz-FG rocket, carrying the spacecraft, launch at 00:31 Moscow time Wednesday (2031 GMT Tuesday) from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

The spacecraft orbited the Earth four times and arrived at the ISS six hours after the launch.

Previously, it took a Soyuz spaceship about 50 hours and about 30 orbits to dock with the station. The Soyuz TMA-08M, which went into service in March, is the first spaceship to reach the station within six hours.

About two hours after the docking, the spaceship's crew, Russian commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineers Karen Nyberg of NASA and Italian Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency, opened the transfer hatches and boarded the ISS.

In their 172-day mission, the astronauts will conduct 34 experiments of various degrees of complexity, including magnetic field dynamics of loaded particles in microgravity and the environmental conditions in various economic zones.

They are also expected to see the arrival of two Progress cargo ships and other spacecraft during their stay in the station, according to Roscosmos.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:YaoChun、Liang Jun)

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