A Soyuz capsule carrying three astronauts has successfully docked with the International Space Station, bringing the size of the crew at the orbiting lab to six.

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, Russia’s Fyodor Yurchikhin and Italy’s Luca Parmitano traveled six hours in the capsule before linking up with the orbiting lab’s Russian Rassvet research module.

The incoming crew will spend five months in space conducting a variety of experiments before returning to Earth.

Their mission began with a midnight launch from the Russian-leased Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan.

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