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New tenants on International Space Station

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New tenants on International Space Station


It is out with the old and in with the new at the International Space Station. A Soyuz spacecraft carrying Brazil’s first astronaut has docked at the orbiting station two days after blasting off from Earth. Applause broke out at Russia’s Mission Control Centre in Korolyov outside Moscow as the capsule made contact. Russian spacecraft bear the responsibility for shipping crew and supplies to the station. This is because NASA grounded its shuttle fleet after failing to fix a technical problem that killed seven astronauts three years ago.

Marcos Pontes, a 43-year-old Brazilian Air Force pilot, spent the journey hunched inside the capsule. He was accompanied by Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and U.S. astronaut Jeffrey Williams, both off whom are starting their six-month tour of duty. For Pontes, however, the trip will be a lot shorter. He will be returning to Earth in just over a week with the outgoing crew.
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