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Russia's Soyuz TMA-M spacecraft blasts for ISS from Baikonur

RIA Novosti

03:43 08/10/2010

MISSION CONTROL, October 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Soyuz TMA-M spacecraft blasted off on Friday for the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

The spacecraft has three crewmembers on board who are Russian cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka and U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly.

The docking of the spacecraft with the ISS is scheduled for October 10 at 4:02 Moscow time (0:02 GMT).

Soyuz TMA-M is a new model and was designed to replace Soyuz TMA spacecraft currently in use. The new spacecraft has newly equipped in-flight measurement systems, new guidance, navigation and control equipment.

The weight of the spacecraft has been reduced by 70 kg (154 lbs) and its construction has been improved to make it easier to manufacture.

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