A spacecraft carrying two Russians and an American has docked at the International Space Station [ISS].
The Soyuz crew were staking their lives on an automated docking system after a string of technical failures had raised major questions about Russia’s space programme.
It is the first flight to the ISS since NASA retired its space shuttles earlier this year and the Soyuz spacecraft is now the only means of reaching the space station.
Japan’s Satoshi Furukawa, Mike Fossum from the US, and Russia’s Sergei Volkov will return home in December, while the new crew members will stay until March.
Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands reports.