Soyuz rocket brings trio to space station

A Russian Soyuz capsule with a three-man international crew docked without a hitch to the International Space Station on Friday after spending two days in orbit, Russian space control said.

The crew of Russian Roman Romanenko, NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield will join commander Kevin Ford of NASA and Russian flight engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin.

The six will stay in space together until March, when Ford, Novitskiy and Tarelkin return to Earth. The three newcomers are due back in May.

The ISS is an orbiting lab that was launched as a scientific cooperation project at a time of continued space rivalry between Moscow and Washington.

Based on Soviet technology, the Soyuz rocket became the only vehicle capable of ferrying humans to space following last year's termination of the US shuttle programme.

by Roland JACKSON © 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Dec 21, 2012