Russian rocket docks with space station

December 17, 2010

A Russian Soyuz space rocket carrying three astronauts on Friday docked with the International Space Station (ISS), Russia's mission control said.

"The automatic docking passed off successfully," said spokesman Valery Lyndin, quoted by the Russian news agency Interfax.

The Soyuz TMA-20 rocket, with a Russian, an Italian and an American aboard, blasted off Wednesday from the Russian-leased Baikonur in Kazakhstan.

The three-member crew is due to open the airlock at 2300 GMT to enter the ISS where they will join NASA's Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka aboard the ISS.

They are due to carry out a mission lasting nearly six months and are scheduled to return from the ISS in May next year.

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