A Soyuz space capsule carrying astronauts from Russia, Japan and the United States has docked with the International Space Station after a two-day voyage.

The docking took place smoothly at 0406 GMT Saturday at a height of 412 kilometers (254 miles) above the Earth. The crew is to enter the space laboratory after the lengthy procedure to open the hatches connecting the space station and the capsule.

The capsule is carrying Russian commander Anatoly Ivanishin, NASA's Kathleen Rubins and Takuya Onishi of the Japanese space agency JAXA.

They will join American Jeff Williams and Russians Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin.

The capsule blasted off from Russia's manned space complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on Thursday.