Russia launches manned spacecraft to ISS

14:23, June 08, 2011      

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The Russian Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft, carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov and U.S. astronaut Michael Fossum, blasts off from its launchpad at the Baikonur cosmodrome, June 8, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Russian spacecraft Soyuz TMA-02M with three astronauts onboard blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan early Wednesday to the International Space Station (ISS), according to TV reports.

Russian television showed that a Soyuz-FG rocket carrying the Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft lifted off at 00:12 Moscow time (2012 GMT Tuesday) from the southern Kazakh steppe.

The new crew members to the ISS are Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and American astronaut Michael.

The spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the ISS at 01:22 Moscow time (2122 GMT) on June 10 after two days of flight.

According to the Russian Cosmonauts Training Center, the new crew will spend 161 days in the ISS and conduct three space walks.

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