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    Russia's Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft docks with ISS

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    Russia's Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft with three crewmembers on board docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday at 2.25 Moscow time (22.25 GMT, Thursday).

    Russia's Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft with three crewmembers on board docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday at 2.25 Moscow time (22.25 GMT, Thursday).

    The spacecraft blasted off from the Baikonur Space Station in Kazakhstan for its half-year mission on the ISS at 01:35 a.m. Moscow time on Wednesday (21:35 GMT, Tuesday).

    The crew consists of Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchihin and the new ISS crew members, U.S. astronauts Douglas Wheelock and Shannon Walker.

    After the hatches between the spacecraft and the ISS are opened, the three crewmembers will join Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Korniyenko, and U.S. astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, who currently man the station.

    The ISS orbit was raised by 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) on June 8 to ensure the best conditions for the docking of the spacecraft.

    The TMA-19 mission is the 106th flight of a Soyuz spacecraft since the start of the program in 1967.

    The Soyuz spacecraft will most likely remain docked to the space station for the remainder of Expedition 24 to serve as an emergency escape vehicle.

     

    MISSION CONTROL (Moscow Region), June 18 (RIA Novosti)

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