ABOVE: Watch the moment the Soyuz craft docked with the ISS in a tense and tricky procedure (for us non-astronauts, anyways)
MOSCOW – A Russian spacecraft carrying a three-man crew docked successfully at the International Space Station on Thursday following a flawless launch.
The Soyuz craft, carrying NASA’s Reid Wiseman, Russian cosmonaut Max Surayev and German Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency arrived at the station at 5:44 a.m. EDT. They lifted off just less than six hours earlier from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Mission Control in Moscow congratulated the trio on a successful docking.
They are joining two Russians and an American who have been at the station since March.
The Russian and U.S. space agencies have continued to co-operate despite friction between the two countries over Ukraine. NASA depends on the Russian spacecraft to ferry crews to the space station and pays Russia nearly $71 million per seat.
Until last year, Russian spacecraft used to travel two days to reach the station, and this will be only the fifth time that a crew has taken the six-hour “fast-track” route. After the previous launch, in March, the crew ended up taking the longer route because of a software glitch.
© The Canadian Press, 2014