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Spacemen take short cut to station

Published 29/03/2013

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-08M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off (AP)
The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-08M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off (AP)

A Russian spacecraft carrying a three-man crew has blasted off on a quicker-than-usual trip to the International Space Station.

The Soyuz took off as scheduled from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Chris Cassidy of Nasa, along with Russians Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin, make up the first crew to take a new, much shorter path to the orbiting outpost.

Instead of the two-day approach manoeuvre used in the past, a journey to the station would take the crew just under six hours.

The new manoeuvre has been tested successfully by three Russian Progress cargo ships, an unmanned version of the Soyuz used to carry supplies to the space station.

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