Russian manned spaceship docks with station

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 26, 2012 12:20 hrs

Moscow, Oct 25 (IANS) Russia's manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-06M has successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS), Russia's Mission Control Center said Thursday.

The docking was completed at 16.29 Moscow time (12.29 GMT), according to an announcement from the center, Xinhua reported.

The spacecraft, with two Russians and one US pilot on board, docked with Russia's "MIM-2 Poisk" module of the ISS, said the center.

The crew of Oleg Novitsky, Eugeny Tarelkin and Kevin Ford will spend six months on the orbit with over 50 scientific experiments scheduled to be conducted.

This is a rare occasion when all three crew members have no or little experience in the space missions. Among the three, only Ford has already been to the space once.

The crew blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Oct 23 to join the current ISS crew of NASA's Sunita Williams, Russia's Yury Malenchenko and Japan's Akihiko Hoshide.

After the retirement of the US shuttle fleet, Russia's Soyuz spacecraft is the only way for astronauts to reach the ISS and return to Earth at least until 2015.

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