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Soyuz spacecraft carrying crew of three docks at ISS

December 19, 2017, 12:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Their mission in orbit is expected to last for about four months

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Soyuz-FG booster rocket carrying the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft

Soyuz-FG booster rocket carrying the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft

© Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. Russia’s spacecraft Soyuz MS-07 carrying a crew of three has docked at the International Space Station in the automatic mode, Mission Control near Moscow said on Tuesday.

"The Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft has successfully docked at the ISS in the automatic mode at 11:39 Moscow time," a Mission Control official said.

The Soyuz is carrying Russia’s Anton Shkaplerov and US and Japanese astronauts Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai.

Their mission in orbit is expected to last for about four months. They will receive cargo spacecraft Progress MS, Dragon and Cygnus, send back to Earth the Soyuz MS-06 descent capsule with the crew of the ISS 53/54 expedition, and welcome the next manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-08. Also, they are to stage 51 research experiments.

Under the Russian segment’s program a spacewalk is due in February 2018. Shkaplerov told TASS in an interview earlier that Russian astronauts will make an attempt to replace an outdated equipment block of the system Luch that has been in space for 17 years. What makes the operation so tricky is that originally the block was designed as irreplaceable. Its fittings are too complex for an astronaut in a spacesuit to handle. Also, it is installed there where no such operations had been carried out before.

The Soyuz-FG rocket carrying the manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-07 blasted off from the Baikonur space site in Kazakhstan at 10:21 on December 17.

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