Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft docks with ISS Module

Moscow: Russia’s Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft carrying three crew members has successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) “Poisk” module two days after its launch, the Russian Mission Control Center said on Friday.

The three crew members — two Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko and US astronaut Shane Kimbrough — are expected to move to the space station in the next several hours, Sputnik news quoted the space centre as saying.

The spacecraft is scheduled to undock from ISS on October 30 with the previous crew Anatoly Ivanishin from Russia, US astronaut Kathleen Rubins and Takuya Onishi from Japan. Its landing on the earth is planned for the same day, the space centre added.

The new two-day flight plan aims at testing all systems of the new spacecraft, according to Russia’s space agency Roscosmos.

The Soyuz MS is the latest and most advanced version in the Soyuz TMA family. It features modernised communications and navigation systems, and also has more efficient solar panels, which will significantly increase its energy performance, RT news reported.

Russia on Wednesday successfully launched the spacecraft from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch of the spacecraft had been postponed in September due to technical problems.

The other remaining launches in 2016 include the Soyuz MS-03 manned spacecraft, which will be launched on November 16 and the Progress MS-04 space freighter launch on December 1.