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Russia launches manned spacecraft to ISS

RUSSIA successfully launched on Friday the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft carrying three crew to the International Space Station (ISS), local media reported.

A Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the Soyuz TMA-16M manned spacecraft blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 10:42pm Moscow time (1942 GMT). The spacecraft is due to dock with the ISS six hours later.

Among the three crew, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly are both on a one-year mission in space, while the other Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who has undertaken four rounds of ISS stay mission, is expected to spend six months onboard the ISS, and by then, he will set a new record of a total of 878 days spent in space.

The three crew are tasked with conducting some 50 scientific experiments, mostly in the field of medical science, and will work with Russia's Progress cargo spacecraft for resupply missions. 


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