At around midday today, ESA astronaut Pedro Duque and the other Cervantes Mission crewmembers, NASA astronaut Michael Foale and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri, entered the International Space Station (ISS).
Earlier this morning, at 09:16 CEST (07:16 UT), the docking of the Soyuz TMA-3 with ISS went as planned, when they were flying directly above Russia at a height of approximately 400 kilometres.
Three hours later, at 12:14 CEST (10:14 UT), the hatch between the Soyuz and ISS was opened and the Cervantes Mission crew entered the Station.
The ISS Expedition Seven crew, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and NASA astronaut Ed Lu, who have been on board ISS since April 2003, welcomed the Cervantes crew on board. Foale and Kaleri will replace the ISS Expedition Seven crew at the end of the Cervantes Mission. As the ISS Expedition Eight crew, Foale and Kaleri are scheduled to stay on the Station for approximately six months. Yuri Malenchenko and Edward Lu will return to Earth together with Pedro Duque in the Soyuz TMA-2 spacecraft that has been docked with ISS since April 2003.
Dignitaries gathered at the Russian Mission Control Centre, in Moscow, congratulated the two crews on a successful mission so far. Pedro Duque's activities regarding the scientific programme, consisting of a series of experiments, will begin this afternoon.