New Model Soyuz Launches for Space Station

MOSCOW, Oct. 8 (UPI) — A new model of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft was launched Friday toward the International Space Station from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur space center, officials said.

The Soyuz TMA-M is taking Russian cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka and U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly to the ISS and is expected to dock on Sunday, RIA Novosti reported.

The spacecraft, replacing the current TMA version, has new in-flight measurement systems, guidance, navigation and control equipment.

The TMA-M is 154 pounds lighter than the previous version and has been redesigned to make it easier to manufacture, RIA Novosti said.

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