Russian, US astronauts hug when asked about tensions over
A Russian spacecraft carrying a three-man crew docked successfully at the
The Soyuz craft, carrying
They are joining US astronaut
The Russian and US space agencies have continued to cooperate despite friction between the two countries over
Until last year, Russian spacecraft traveled two days to reach the station. This is only the fifth time that a crew has taken the six-hour "fast-track" route. After the previous launch, in March, the crew ended up taking the longer route because of a software glitch.
The three cosmonauts opened the hatch into the station after two hours, Russian mission control said on its website.
Grinning broadly, the newcomers hugged the crew of three already on board the orbiting laboratory.
The new crew members' mission is scheduled to last 167 days, with a return to Earth in November.
Surayev, 42, is on his second lengthy space station mission after his maiden voyage in 2009, when he became the first Russian space blogger. Wiseman and Gerst, who are both 38, are on their first space mission.
During a news conference on Wednesday, the crew was asked whether the current tensions between
Since the retirement of the US space shuttle in 2011,
Russian Deputy Prime Minister
Rogozin responded derisively by suggesting that
In all, 16 countries participate in the
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