UPDATE 1-New crew arrives at International Space Station

Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:00pm GMT

* Space station now back at full staff of six

* Crew to prep station for commercial cargo ships

* First commercial cargo ship to arrive in February

(Updates with Soyuz-2 launch failure, quotes)

By Irene Klotz

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Dec 23 (Reuters) - A Russian Soyuz capsule arrived at the International Space Station on Friday with a trio of astronauts, bringing the orbital outpost back to full staffing after a failed cargo ship launch in August disrupted flight schedules.

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA's Don Pettit and the European Space Agency's Andre Kuipers blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday for the space station, a $100 billion research complex that orbits about 240 miles (385 km) above Earth.

Their two-day trip in the cramped capsule ended at 10:19 a.m. EST (1519 GMT) when the Soyuz slipped into the Earth-facing docking port on the station's Rassvet module.

The docking occurred about three hours after another botched Russian launch, the fifth this year.   Continued...

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