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Mike Hopkins reaches space station

Updated: September 26, 2013, 1:36 PM ET
By Brett McMurphy | ESPN.com

Astronaut Mike Hopkins, a former Illinois defensive back participating in his first space mission, reached the International Space Station after midnight Thursday morning.

Hopkins was part of a three-man crew that rode a Soyuz rocket that lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:58 p.m. ET Wednesday. The astronauts will live aboard the orbiting laboratory until March 2014.

Hopkins played at Illinois from 1988-91. He received the Illini's special teams player ...

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