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After two failed tries this week and with just one more chance left, a Russian cosmonaut successfully docked a food-laden Progress M-24 rocket with the orbital space station Mir. The risky move may have saved Russia's manned space program from extinction. If the manual attempt had failed, the three cosmonauts on board Mir would have had to abandon the craft and board an emergency re-entry vehicle. High jinks on the ground made their predicament far worse: underpaid ground-support technicians stole many of their edibles before takeoff, and the cosmonauts were subsisting on recycled wastewater and food two years past its expiration date. There were international cheers for the rescue mission, but it has also raised doubts among the partners who have joined with Russia for future space station development, including the U.S., Japan and the European Community.