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Russian, U.S. crew safely dock with space station

Old 11-16-2011
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Default Russian, U.S. crew safely dock with space station

Three astronauts in Russia's Soyuz spacecraft safely docked with the International Space Station on Wednesday, to the relief of agencies who had feared they might have to leave the orbiting base empty for the first time in a decade.

Moscow hopes the smooth flight -- the first since NASA retired its space shuttles this summer -- will restore faith in its space programme after the crash of a freight ship and a series of botched launches.

The NASA shutdown means Russian spaceships are the only way to ferry goods and crews to the $100-billion space station, backed by 16 nations.

Ground support teams had scrambled to draw up plans to leave the orbital station unmanned should the Soyuz flight have problems.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...7MG1EX20111116
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Old 11-17-2011
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