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Soyuz manned ship docks to ISS in automatic mode

July 17, 2012, 9:40 UTC+3

The Soyuz manned spacecraft with an international crew on board docked to the International Space Stationat 08:51 MSK

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KOROLEV, (Moscow region) July 17 (Itar-Tass) — The Soyuz manned spacecraft with an international crew on board docked to the International Space Station (ISS) at 08:51 MSK Tuesday, the Mission Control Centre (MCC) outside Moscow told Itar-Tass. It docked to the docking node of the Rassvet module (MIM-1) in an automatic mode, the MCC said

The Soyuz TMA-05M manned spaceship, launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome on July 15, has delivered to the ISS this year’s second long-term ISS expedition crew - Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, and astronaut of the Japanese space agency (JAXA) Akihiko Hoshide, who are to work with the rest of the crew for more than four months. With the arrival of the international trio the crew of the ISS Expedition 32 increased to six people. The newcomers and their colleagues who have been working on the orbiting outpost since mid-May (Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, Sergei Revin and NASA astronaut Joseph Acaba) will work together till the end of September.

“At about midday the cosmonauts are to open the hatches to enter the ISS,” the MCC said.

The ISS Expedition-32/33 crew has many difficult tasks. The expedition flight program includes the reception and unloading of two Russia’s Progress cargo spacecraft and the third Japanese cargo spacecraft of the HTV series. The flight plan also includes a spacewalk in the interests of the Russian segment, during which cosmonauts will move a cargo platform from one module to another and will perform several other operations on the station’s exterior. According to Williams, extravehicular activity (EVA) under the American program is also possible. She will perform it together with Hoshide, and Acaba from inside the station will operate the manipulator. The main objectives of the EVA are the replacement of one of the power units and installation of an electric cable connector for the new Russian laboratory module MLM, the launch of which is scheduled for 2013.

The crew of the ISS Expedition-32/33 has also an important mission - to receive the second US commercial ship - SpX-1.

In addition, the astronauts are to conduct a scientific program that includes several dozen studies, including 33 experiments under the Russian program.

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