Astronauts and sushi safely arrive at the ISS

ISSWith a bear hug and broad smiles, three new astronauts have arrived at the International Space Station after nearly two months of delays.

Kjell Lingren, a Nasa astronaut, Kimiya Yui, from Japan, and Oleg Kononenko, a veteran Russian cosmonaut, arrived at the outpost in orbit around our planet six hours after blasting off from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The flight in the Soyuz spacecraft had been delayed after an unmanned Soyuz cargo rocket crashed back to Earth in April while trying to deliver supplies to the space station.

The mission, which is the 45th expedition to the ISS, was not without hiccups though as one of the solar panels on the Soyuz capsule did not deploy properly.

Officials decided to press ahead with the rendezvous with the space station as planned, however, as the starboard array had deployed along with its navigational antenna.

The capsule docked with the space station at 10.45pm EDT (3.45am BST) last night as it passed 250 miles (400km) above the Pacific Ocean near Ecuador.

At 12.56am EDT (5.56am BST), the hatches between the Soyuz capsure and the space station were opened and the two crews greeted each other.

Commander Gennady Padalka, of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Flight Engineer Scott Kelly, from Nasa and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos, have been on the space station since March.

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