Soyuz docks with ISS on Russian-US anniversary

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Soyuz docks with ISS on Russian-US anniversary

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A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying a crew of three has docked with the International Space Station, two days after launching from Kazakhstan.

Russia is now the only country capable of transporting crews to the ISS since the last American space shuttle was taken out of service last summer.

The new members are a Russian cosmonaut, a NASA astronaut and a Japanese engineer.

There was another reason to celebrate apart from the successful link-up: it happened on the 37th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz docking in 1975 on the first joint US-Russian space mission.

The new crew members are embarking on a four-month mission to carry out repairs and scientific experiments, joining two Russians and an American who left Earth in May.

Two spacewalks are planned at the end of August.

The 100 billion dollar International Space Station is orbiting around 385 kilometres above Earth.