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Making room for the new space station team

The Russian-U.S. crew manning the international space station maneuvers a capsule into a new dock to make way for the new team's arrival next week.
Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov (C),i
Workers at Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday check the fit of a spacesuit for Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov, flanked by Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes at left and U.S. astronaut Jeffrey Williams at right.AFP - Getty Images
/ Source: Reuters

The crew on board the international space station on Monday took a short flight in their Soyuz craft to free up a docking bay for their replacements arriving later this month, Russian mission control said.

Cosmonaut Valery Tokarev undocked the Soyuz from the Zarya cargo module's docking port, backed off from the station about 50 yards (meters), and then docked at the Zvezda service module, a mission control spokeswoman said.

Tokarev was assisted by Bill McArthur, the U.S. astronaut and space station commander.  The maneuver passed off without incident.

"The Soyuz was moved from the Zarya module to make way for the next manned spacecraft ... which will launch from Baikonur on March 30," said the spokeswoman.

The next space station crew will be Russian commander Pavel Vinogradov and U.S. flight engineer Jeff Williams. They will be accompanied by Marcos Pontes, who will become the first Brazilian in space.  He will spend about a week on the station and return to Earth with McArthur and Tokarev.