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Relief as Russian rocket docks at Space Station

A Soyuz rocket carrying two Russians astronauts and an American on Wednesday successfully docked at the International Space Station.

Russian rocket docks space stationEnlarge
The crew aboard the ISS, as shown on the Nasa website. (Screengrab)

A spacecraft carrying two Russians astronauts and an American on Wednesday successfully docked at the International Space Station (ISS).

The Soyuz rocket, which lifted off from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday, docked at 09:24 Moscow time, Agence France Presse reported.

In a statement on its website, the mission control center outside Moscow said:

"The process of the approach and docking was carried out in an automatic regime under the supervision of mission control center and the crew.”

It is Russia’s first manned mission for five months, after a string of technical failures, including the loss of an unmanned supply ship, also headed for the ISS, which crashed in Siberia in August, shortly after take-off.

More on GlobalPost: Successful launch for Russian Soyuz headed to Space Station (VIDEO)

After the docking, American astronaut Dan Burbank and Russians Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin opened the hatch and joined a crew of three already on board the ISS.

That crew is due to return to Earth on November 22, while the new crew members will stay until March, the BBC reported.

The Soyuz rocket became the only means of reaching the ISS after the United States ended its shuttle program in July.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/111116/russian-rocket-docks-space-station