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Russia will launch a Soyuz spacecraft carrying a new crew to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, the country’s first manned mission following the loss of a Progress cargo spacecraft in April.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft is scheduled to lift off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 0.03 a.m. Moscow time Thursday (21:03 GMT Wednesday), a Roscosmos official told RIA Novosti. Docking of the spacecraft with the orbital station is expected six hours later.
The new ISS crew includes Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Kimiya Yui from the Japanese space agency and NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren. They will join Expedition 44 comprising Russian cosmonauts Commander Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko, and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly.
The flight, initially scheduled for May 26, was delayed after the April 28 malfunction of the third stage of a variation of the Soyuz carrier rocket, a Soyuz 2.1a, which sent an unmanned Progress cargo ship into an uncontrolled spin.
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