Moscow An American astronaut climbed aboard the international space station Friday for a stint as its first female commander after a two-day trip from Earth and a textbook docking.
Peggy Whitson, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Malaysian physician Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor scooted through hatches linking the station with the Soyuz TMA-11 craft they rode into orbit from Russia's launch facility in Kazakhstan.
The Soyuz docked on schedule after catching up with the station and firing thrusters to get into position, said Valery Lyndin, chief spokesman for Russian Mission Control outside Moscow.
"Everything is great," Malenchenko told Mission Control shortly after the ship locked onto the station about 220 miles over Central Asia. A commentator with the U.S. space agency NASA called the docking "flawless."