MOSCOW, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A Russian Soyuz spacecraft brought a new crew to the International Space Station Saturday morning, the Interfax news agency reported.
The craft successfully docked with the space station approximately 200 miles above the earth at 8:15 a.m. Moscow time.
The Soyuz was piloted by Col. Salizhan Sharipov of the Russian Air Force. Also on board were U.S. astronaut Leroy Chiao, who will become the new space station commander, and Russian Lt. Col. Yuri Shargin.
For the last six months, the space station has been inhabited by cosmonaut Gennady Padalka and U.S. astronaut Michael Fincke. They are expected to land in Kazakhstan in one week, with Shargin at the Soyuz' controls.
Chiao and Sharipov are to conduct maintenance work, including two spacewalks, and repair a Russian-built oxygen generator that has been malfunctioning, the New York Times reported.