MOSCOW – A Soyuz manned spacecraft, commanded by Alexander Misurkin, successfully docked with the International Space Station on Wednesday, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said.
The docking took place in automatic mode after less than six hours of flight time.
Besides the Russian commander, flight engineers Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA were also aboard the spacecraft.
The Soyuz took off at 2117 GMT on Monday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a three-stage Soyuz FG carrier rocket.
Commander Misurkin is making his second trip to the station.
He has spent nearly 138 days in space on his two previous flights while Vande Hei will be making his first flight into space on Soyuz MS-06.
The ISS, a 16-nation project representing an investment of more than $150 billion, currently comprises 14 permanent modules and orbits the Earth at a speed of more than 27,000 kph (16,800 mph).
The station’s orbit is boosted periodically with the assistance of the thrusters of docked spacecraft, as the ISS loses 100-150 meters (328-492 feet) of altitude per day due to gravity, solar activity and other factors.