KOROLYOV (Moscow Region), October 21. /TASS/. Russia’s Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft with an international crew has docked with the Russian module Poisk of the International Space Station (ISS), the Flight Control Center told TASS on Friday.
"The engagement and docking of the manned transport spacecraft were carried out," the Flight Control Center said.
The Soyuz has delivered Russian cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko and also US astronaut Robert Shane Kimbrough. There is also a particle of the relics of Saint Seraphim of Sarov aboard the spacecraft. After the new crew completes its flight that will last about six months, the particle will be transferred to the Church of the Transfiguration in the Stellar City in the Moscow Region.
The Soyuz spacecraft berthed in an automatic mode.
At about 3:20-3:50 p.m. Moscow time (12:20-12-50 GMT), the cosmonauts will open the hatches and transfer to the ISS after checking the docking air tightness and equalizing pressure between the spacecraft and the space station.
The new crew will replace Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi and US astronaut Kathleen Rubins who will return to the Earth on October 30. The Soyuz MS spacecraft is expected to undock from the space station at 03:36 Moscow time and land at 06:59 in the Kazakh steppe.
A Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft blasted off at 11:05 Moscow time on October 19 from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. Nine and a half minutes after, the spacecraft was delivered into orbit and set course towards the ISS.