Soyuz docks with International Space Station after fast trip

DPA Washington/Moscow | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on May 29, 2013

A Soyuz rocket with Expedition 36/37 Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, Luca Parmitano and Karen Nyberg launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano will remain aboard the station until mid-November, 2013. (Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)   -  NASA

A Russian spacecraft carrying three astronauts docked with the International Space Station early today, the second manned flight to use a new faster route, the US space agency NASA noted on its website.

The Soyuz docked with the Rassvet module of the space station at 0210 GMT, seven minutes ahead of schedule and setting a new time record for the trip, NASA said.

It blasted off at 2031 GMT Tuesday from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, with Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency, NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano.

The new adventurers were at the door of their temporary home in space after a six-hour flight, down from earlier Soyuz flights that used to take two days, thanks to a more precise trajectory that reduced the number of orbits needed to approach the space station.

The three current space station residents made the first successful six-hour journey in March. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, Russian astronauts Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin are scheduled to greet the newcomers at 0355 GMT Wednesday.

Since NASA killed the US shuttle programme in 2011, the only means of human transport to the space station is Russia’s Soyuz craft.

Published on May 29, 2013
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