Soyuz reaches the International Space Station

A crew of a Russian, an American and a Japanese of will stay on the ISS for six months...

The Russian spacecraft, Soyuz TMA-05M, with three crew on board, successfully docked on Tuesday with the International Space Station (ISS, in English), informed the Space Flight Control Center (PPA) from Russia.

"The docking came automatically and on time," said a spokesman for the PPA quoted by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

The Soyuz brought to the ISS the Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Malenchenko, American Sunita Williams and Japanese Akihiko Hoshide, who are part of the 33rd expedition to the orbital platform.

Once the seal of the docking is verified, the hatch will open, which should happen between 4:25 a.m. and 4:55 a.m. (GMT).

The newcomers, who will remain six months in space, will be received by the current ISS crew: the Russian Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin, and NASA astronaut Joe Acaba of Puerto Rican origin.

Once the three new members to get accommodated on the orbital platform, Sunita shall act as flight engineer until September, when they replace Padalka as commander.

The Indian American is the woman with the longest stay in space and also has the most hours spent outside the ISS for spacewalks.

The docking maneuver on Tuesday coincided with an important anniversary in the history of space exploration:  on July 17, 1975 the dockling of Soviet craft Soyuz 19 and U.S. Apollo 18 happened, which became a symbol of detente between the two powers

Translated from the Portuguese version by:

Lisa Karpova

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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey