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Soyuz rocket docks with the ISS

A Soyuz rocket with three crew members on board has docked with the ISS, two days after a successful launched from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome. This is the first manned flight since a rocket full of supplies crashed during liftoff in August.

The international crew – Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, along with NASA astronaut Dan Burbank –has arrived at the Space Station at 11:30am Moscow time (07:30 GMT).

They have replaced the crew which has been working on the ISS since the beginning of June.  

NASA’s Mike Fossum, Japan's Satoshi Furukawa and Russia's Sergey Volkov will return to Earth on November 22.

After Expedition 29 undocks from the ISS, its successor – Expedition 30 – will officially start its space mission.

The newly-arrived crew will stay at the Space Station for some four months and is expected to conduct 37 experiments during this time. The next crew, which is US astronaut Don Pettit, European astronaut André Kuipers, and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, is scheduled to arrive at the ISS on December 23.

This successful flight was preceded by a two-month delay caused by technical problems. The crew was ready to blast off on September 22, but the mission was delayed over safety fears. It was decided to postpone the manned mission pending further tests. After another Progress rocket was successfully launched on October 30.

After NASA retired its 30-year space shuttle program in July, Russia’s Soyuz manned space craft is used as the only providing transportation to the ISS. The current NASA-Russian deal expires in 2016.