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Russian shuttle reaches ISS successfully

May 17, 2012

An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts were recently launched into outer space on a journey to the International Space Station (ISS). Since NASA discontinued its shuttle launch program, Russia is the only nation sending people into space. The AFP reports the shuttle, which departed Tuesday morning, successfully arrived at the ISS on Thursday morning.

The cosmonauts, Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin - along with American astronaut Joseph Acaba - will spend the next four-and-a-half months working with the three men already aboard the ISS, according to USA Today. Their first task is to prepare for the delivery of supplies from a privately owned company. This is the first time a private company has sent space station necessities to the ISS, which highlights just how far space travel has come in recent decades. This supply shuttle may open the door for privately run manned trips into outer space, the AFP reports.

USA Today indicates Acaba has been outside of Earth's atmosphere once before in 2009 and Padalka has spent plenty of time in space, while Revin is on his maiden voyage. The shuttle was originally set to launch earlier, but delays have cut the trip short.

Those who want to find out more about the shuttle launch and get the latest updates on space travel can make calls to Russia with phone cards to talk to their friends.

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