Russia launches manned spacecraft to ISS

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Moscow, March 22 (IANS) A Russian carrier rocket blasted off on Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, sending three astronauts aboard the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).

The rocket lifted off at 20:44 Moscow time (1744 GMT) and it has put the spaceship into the orbit, reports Xinhua.

The craft is planned to dock with the Russian segment of the ISS at 22:41 Moscow time (1941 GMT) on Friday, according to local media reports.

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev and his two US colleagues Andrew Feustel and Richard Arnold will join three astronauts from Russia, the US and Japan on the ISS.

According to the reports, the Soyuz MS-08 will take a ball of the 2018 Russia World Cup to the ISS. The ball will be taken back to the Earth and possibly be used in the first match of the tournament in June.

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–IANS

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