March 29, 2013 in Nation/World

Spacecraft docks after 6-hour trip

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

A Russian spacecraft blasts off today from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
(Full-size photo)

MOSCOW – A Soyuz capsule carrying three astronauts successfully docked today with the International Space Station, bringing the size of the crew at the orbiting lab to six.

Chris Cassidy of the United States and Russians Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin traveled six hours in the capsule before linking up with the space station’s Russian Rassvet research module over the Pacific Ocean, just off Peru.

“It’s such a beautiful sight, hard to believe my eyes,” the 59-year-old Vinogradov, who had been in space in 1997 and 2006, was heard saying on NASA TV.

The incoming crew will spend five months in space before returning to Earth.

Their mission began with a late-night launch from the Russian-leased Baikonur launchpad in Kazakhstan.

The trio is the first crew to reach the station after only four orbits instead of the standard 50-hour flight to reach the station.

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