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New ISS Crew Arrives Safely to Begin Six-Month Mission

The International Space Station (ISS) crew members (L-R) Alexander Gerst of Germany, Maxim Surayev of Russia and Reid Wiseman of the U.S. pose before going from a hotel for a final pre-launch preparation at the Baikonur cosmodrome, May 28, 2014.
A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying a three-man multinational crew has arrived at the International Space Station.

American astronaut Reid Wiseman, Russian cosmonaut Max Surayev and German Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency docked at the ISS early Thursday morning, six hours after blasting off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Two hours later, the hatches of both spacecraft were opened and the trio was heartily greeted by the current ISS crew as they floated into the orbital outpost.

Wisemen, Surayev and Gerst will remain aboard the ISS for six months. They join American commander Steve Swanson and Russians Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov, who have been at the station since March.

The Russian and U.S. space agencies have continued to cooperate despite friction between Moscow and Washington over Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. NASA depends on the Russian spacecraft to ferry crews to the space station.