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Latest US-Russian crew joins International Space Station

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts has docked with the International Space Station. The two spacecraft hooked up over southern Russia, two days after blasting off from Kazakhstan. The trio joined three other ISS crew members who’ve been on board the station since July: an American, a Russian and a Japanese national. They’re due to return to Earth towards the end of this month. The mission of the new crew members will last until February. As well as adapting to microgravity, they’re due to receive supplies from a supply spacecraft in just two days time. The International Space Station orbits around 400 kilometres above Earth. The next Soyuz mission is set to blast off on its way to the ISS in mid-November. NASA hopes to resume flying crewmembers from the United States in 2018 aboard capsules being developed by Boeing and the privately-owned SpaceX.

NASA images of Earth

Pictures by NASA of Planet Earth, and the astronauts who took them.