Russian Soyuz TMA-19 spaceship docks with ISS

10:59, June 18, 2010      

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The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with the Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft carrying a new crew to the international space station (ISS) blasts off from at the Russian leased-Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, June 16, 2010 in Baikonur. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

The Russian spaceship Soyuz TMA-19, carrying three astronauts, has docked with the International Space Station (ISS) at 02:25 Moscow time Friday (22:25 GMT Thursday), said the Mission Control Center outside Moscow.

After two days of flight, the spaceship hooked up with the Zvezda service module in automatic mode, said the center. The astronauts will check the tightness and pressure in the docking module before entering the space station in the morning Moscow time.

The 24th ISS mission, consisting of Russian cosmonaut Yury Yurchihin, NASA's Douglas Wheelock and Shannon Walker, will join another three astronauts already at the space station, thus restoring the ISS to its full capacity of six crew members.

Among the three crew members, 45-year-old Shannon Walker is the only female and the only one that flies to ISS for the first time.

They will spend 161 days in the space, during which space walks and scientific experiments will be conducted.



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