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U.S.-Russia crew to fly in Soyuz to ISS this week

U.S.-Russia crew to fly in Soyuz to ISS this week
One of the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station used a 50mm lens to record this image of a large mass of storm clouds over the Atlantic Ocean near Brazil and the Equator on July 4, 2013. A Russian spacecraft, docked to the orbiting outpost, partially covers a small patch of sunglint on the ocean waters in a break in the clouds. UPI/ NASA | License Photo

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Two cosmonauts and one astronaut will lift off in a Soyuz spacecraft from Kazakhstan for the International Space Station, the U.S. space agency said Monday.

Michael Hopkins of NASA joins Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency for the Wednesday launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, NASA said in a release.

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Hopkins and Ryazanskiy are flight engineers, and Kotov is the spacecraft commander, NASA said.

The Soyuz spacecraft will rendezvous with the space station and, after four orbits of Earth, will dock to the Poisk module on the Russian segment of the station, NASA said.

Hopkins, Kotov and Ryazanskiy will remain aboard the station until mid-March.

They replace Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian space agency, and flight engineers Karen Nyberg of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency, who have been aboard the ISS since late May. They return to Earth Nov. 11.

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