Three spacefarers have blasted off from the Russian-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan for a six-month mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
The Soyuz spaceship carrying Sergei Prokopyev of Russia, Germany’s Alexander Gerst, and Serena Aunon-Chancellor of the United States was scheduled to orbit the Earth for about two days before docking with the orbital laboratory on June 8.
The trio representing Roskosmos, NASA, and the European Space Agency will conduct research.
The ISS, which is orbiting 400 kilometers above the Earth, is currently manned by three astronauts, including two Americans and one Russian.
Station commander Drew Feustel and flight engineers Ricky Arnold and Oleg Artemyev have been living in space since March. They have been preparing for a June 14 spacewalk.