New crew reaches space station after launch from Kazakhstan

May 28, 2013 at 10:17 PM
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GREENBELT, Md., May 28 (UPI) -- A Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft carrying three new crew members docked with the International Space Station after a 6-hour journey from Kazakhstan.

Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency, NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano docked their capsule to the station's Rassvet module Tuesday evening, the BBC reported.

They join Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy of NASA and Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos.

The six-person crew of ISS Expedition 36 will man the space station together until September when Cassidy, Vinogradov and Misurkin return to Earth aboard their Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft.

The crew is scheduled to conduct five spacewalks to prepare the complex for the installation of the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module in December, as well as conducting a number of research and technology experiments, NASA said.

The crew will also handle the arrival of several cargo vehicles during their mission, including the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle-4 in June, a Russian Progress cargo craft in July and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's H-II Transfer Vehicle-4 in August.

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