They may have only just got to the International Space Station (ISS) but the crew of Expedition 36 are already breaking records.

Hurtling into space aboard the Soyuz TMA-09M, Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), NASA's Karen Nyberg and European Space Agency's (ESA) Luca Parmitano reached the ISS in just five hours and 39 minutes.

Docking at 02:16 GMT on Wednesday morning they beat the previous record by six minutes.

soyuz international space station

The Soyuz rocket with Expedition 36/37 blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan

In an odd choice of words upon reaching the ISS, Yurchikhin said: "Thank you for the best spacecraft, finer than the best pocket watch!"

The crew replace take the place of Commander Chris Hadfield who became in internet sensation for his amazing pictures and amazing cover of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity'.

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  • The moon rising over a bed of cloud

  • The southwest corner of Africa

  • Clouds over Hull and the Humber Estuary

  • Belfast, at the mouth of the River Langan

  • Utah ski hills

  • Spaceships glowing blue in the dawn over Florida

  • Canada

  • Dr Seuss-inspired swirls in the Black Sea

  • Crew preparing for a spacewalk

  • A storm swirling off the Irish coast

  • Nicosia (Lefkoşa) and the rugged north Cyprus coast

  • Scotland in the Spring sunshine

  • Sunrise catches the clouds, mid Atlantic

  • A lone jet draws a straight line across the Tatras

  • Dr Tom Marshburn

  • Crew 'light the universe on the dark side of the globe'