Russian Craft Delivers Space Station Crew

MOSCOW, June 18 (UPI) — A Russian spacecraft with three crew members docked with the International Space Station to begin a six-month mission, authorities said.

On board the Soyuz spacecraft docking Friday were Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchihin and U.S. astronauts Douglas Wheelock and Shannon Walker, RIA Novosti reported.

The three crew members will join Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Korniyenko and U.S. astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, who now man the station.

The orbit of the ISS was raised 1.6 miles on June 8 to prepare for the docking.

The mission is the 106th flight of a Soyuz spacecraft since Russia began the program in 1967.

The spacecraft is expected to remain connected to the ISS for the rest of the six-month mission to serve as an emergency escape vehicle, RIA Novosti reported.

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