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cosmonaut

Two rookie astronauts, cosmonaut blast off to ISS

MIAMI: A three-man space crew featuring American and Japanese rookie astronauts as well as an experienced Russian cosmonaut blasted off on Sunday for a six-month mission at the International Space Station. Scott Tingle of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency powered into the sky in a Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:21 pm (0721 GMT). NASA TV footage from inside the Soyuz capsule showed a toy poodle made by Shkaplerov's…

One of first Soviet cosmonauts Gorbatko dies

MOSCOW: Soviet cosmonaut Viktor Gorbatko, a colleague of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, died on Wednesday at the age of 82, Russia's space agency said. Gorbatko was among the eight young pilots chosen in 1960 from 3,000 candidates in the Soviet manned flight programme to train for the country's first space mission. Born in southern Russia, Gorbatko was 26 when he joined the first team of cosmonauts recruited under a veil of total secrecy. "I was called in by my commander who immediately ordered me to sign a…