Soyuz with US-Russian crew reaches space station in 3 hours

In this image made from video footage released by Roscosmos Space Agency the Soyuz-2.1a rocket booster with Soyuz MS-17 space

Soyuz MS-17 crew launches on 'ultrafast' two-orbit flight to space station

The new orbit path halves the time that it typically takes Soyuz crews to reach the space station.

The three crew members are scheduled to dock on their Soyuz rover in Rasvet at 4:52 a.m. EST (0852 GMT) after an encounter in two orbits.

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A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying a USA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts successfully reached the International Space Station after blasting off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, live footage broadcast by Russia's space agency Roscosmos showed. "We'll continue to train crews over here and we're going to have cosmonauts come to the Johnson Space Center and train". As the Soyuz spacecraft is compact and cramped, it makes for a terribly uncomfortably journey for the astronauts on board, so getting to the Station as quickly as possible is the best way forward. During the upcoming Expedition 64, NASA is expecting the arrival of the known Crew-1 aboard the recent SpaceX Crew Dragon on the very first operational commercial mission to reach the space station and bring in an additional four members.

The spaceflight marks the second for Rubins and Ryzhikov and the first for Kud-Sverchkov, who will live and work aboard the outpost for six months, conducting research in technology development, Earth science, biology, human research and more.

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The American Orbital Segment of the ISS has its own oxygen production facility. It follows a successful Demo-2 mission earlier this year.

About two hours after docking, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open, and they will join Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who have been aboard the complex since April. "This approach (mixed crew flights) will ensure delivery of the crew to the station, should a problem with the partner spacecraft occur".

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