Russia spacecraft, Soyuz blasted off from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying astronauts from the United States, Russia and Italy to the International Space Station (ISS). The lift off was at 10:09 pm Moscow time (19:09 GMT) and went perfectly as planned.
The commander of the crew is Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, who is on his maiden space voyage. Joining him are NASA’s Catherine Coleman, veteran of two space flight missions and European Space Agency’s Paolo Nespoli, who also had travelled to space earlier.
The crew from three nations
Though the astronauts are from three different countries, they know each other well and have served together as back up astronauts on some earlier missions too.