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Soyuz MS-08 spaceship with three crew members docks to ISS

The spaceship was launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on March 21

KOROLYOV /Moscow region/, March 23. /TASS/. Russia’s Soyuz MS-08 manned spaceship carrying a crew of three astronauts has docked to the International Space Station (ISS), the Russian mission control center said on Friday.

The Soyuz MS-08 that was launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 20:44 Moscow time on March 21 docked to the ISS’ Poisk module in an automated regime under the control of specialists of the Russian mission control center and Russian cosmonauts onboard the spaceship and the ISS.

The spaceship has taken Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev and NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Richard Arnold, who will join the current ISS crew of Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai and NASA astronaut Scott Tingle.

Artemyev said earlier he would set out on a spacewalk on August 8 together with Sergei Prokopyev, who is due to reach the ISS in June. The Russian cosmonauts will install equipment on the external surface of the ISS for the ICARUS experiment on monitoring wild birds. This will be the most interesting experiment out of more than 50 others, which the Russian crew will carry out during the flight, the cosmonaut said. The Russian cosmonauts will also launch nano-satellites during their spacewalk.

The Soyuz MS-08 takes to the station a ball of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The ball will be later taken back to the Earth by cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and may be used in the first match of the championship in Russia.