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Russian, American Crew Reaches International Space Station


A Soyuz spacecraft carrying a Russian and an American reached the International Space Station on April 20, completing the first two-man flight to the ISS in more than a decade.

The Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft with Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and U.S. astronaut Jack Fischer onboard successfully docked to the ISS at 1319 GMT (eds: 1519 Prague time), Russian space agency Roscosmos said.

Manned launches to the ISS usually involve three crew members, but Russia said last year that in the near future only two cosmonauts would be on board the ISS rather than three as has been the case in recent times.

Roscosmos said it is seeking to cut costs on supply missions prior to the installation of a new module to expand the Russian section of the ISS at the end of the year or early next year.

Russian Yuri Malenchenko and American Edward Lu undertook the last two-man mission to the ISS in April 2003.

Yurchikhin and Fischer are beginning a five-month mission at the station where three astronauts, including NASA's Peggy Whitson, are already stationed.

Based on reporting by AFP, TASS, and Interfax

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