Russian Capsule Carrying American Billionaire Docks at International Space Station

Published March 29, 2009

| Associated Press

A Soyuz capsule carrying a Russian cosmonaut, an American astronaut and U.S. billionaire tourist Charles Simonyi has docked at the international space station.

Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka manually guided the capsule to a stop ahead of schedule Saturday two days after blasting off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The crews of the capsule and the station will spend around three hours checking seals before opening the air locks and meeting up face-to-face.

Padalka and U.S. astronaut Michael Barratt will join the station's current crew.

Simonyi, meanwhile, returns to Earth on April 7 along with cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov and NASA astronaut Michael Fincke.

It's Simonyi's second trip as a paying customer to the space station.

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