Soyuz with 3 astronauts docks with space station

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BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) - A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying three astronauts has successfully docked with the International Space Station following a launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan six hours earlier.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Oleg Kononenko of Russian space agency Roscosmos docked with the station at 11:33 p.m. (1723 GMT; 12:33 p.m. EST) Monday.

The crew must wait up to two hours while the latches and seals of the docking port are checked and ground controllers confirm it is safe to open the spacecraft's hatch and join the astronauts already aboard the station.

Stakes were high for Monday's launch, the first to carry a crew since a previous mission to the space station in October was aborted two minutes into the flight after a booster failed to properly separate from the rocket.