Russia's Soyuz rocket placed into orbit with 3 astronauts on board

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Representative image
Representative image

Moscow [Russia], April 10 (ANI): Russia's Soyuz MS-18 Yu spacecraft carrying one NASA astronaut and two cosmonauts of the Russian space agency Roscosmos docked to the International Space Station (ISS) at 7:05 am Eastern Time Zone (EDT) while both spacecraft were flying about 262 miles above northern China, NASA said.

The spacecraft, launched ahead of the 60th anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, took Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov, and US astronaut Mark Vande Hei to the ISS, Sputnik reported.

Gagarin's name and portrait are painted on the rocket hull.

NASA informed that the hatches between the International Space Station and the newly arrived Soyuz spacecraft officially opened at 9:20 am EDT as they flew 270 miles above the South Pacific.

The arrival of three new crew members to the existing seven people already aboard for Expedition 64 temporarily increases the station's population to 10, NASA said.

NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts arrived on the Soyuz MS-18 after a two-orbit, three-hour flight following their launch from Kazakhstan at 3:42 am EDT. (ANI)