A new crew has arrived at the International Space Station for a six-month mission expected to include the return of the U.S. space shuttle.
Russian commander Sergei Krikalev and American flight engineer John Phillips docked at Space Station Alpha early Sunday aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule. Also on board was Italian researcher Roberto Vittouri of the European Space Agency, who will return to Earth with the departing space-station crew in 10 days.
After a two-day journey, the space travelers floated across the threshold of the space station where they were greeted by the current crew, Russian Salizhan Sharipov and American Leroy Chiao, who began their mission in October.
The U.S. space agency, NASA, hopes to launch the shuttle Discovery in May. The launch would be the first since the shuttle Columbia broke apart returning to Earth two years ago, killing the crew of seven.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.