MOSCOW: A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy’s first female astronaut has safely docked with the International Space Station, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said on Monday. Samantha Cristoforetti, along with Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and American astronaut Terry Virts, arrived at the orbiting space lab on the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft at 2:49 a.m. on Monday, NASA said. “A new vehicle has arrived. The Soyuz is confirmed as attached properly,” high above the Pacific Ocean, NASA television added. Cristoforetti, Virts and Shkaplerov docked just under six hours after taking off from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They are to stay at the space station until May 2015.