Three astronauts blast off for ISS in Russian craft
BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan - Agence France-Presse
Russian Soyuz TMA-07M rocket booster lifts off from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, 19 December 2012, carrying members of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, US astronaut Thomas Marshburn and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOVA Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russian, American and Canadian astronauts blasted off on today from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan bound for the International Space Station (ISS).
The spacecraft took off on schedule at 1212 GMT carrying Russian Roman Romanenko, NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, an AFP correspondent said.
"The Soyuz TMA-O7M has separated from the third stage booster rocket and has been brought into the correct orbit," the Russian space agency said in a statement.
The Soyuz spacecraft is due to dock with the ISS on December 21 at 1412 GMT.
Romanenko, the commander of the Soyuz flight, is going to the ISS for the second time, as is Marshburn, while Hadfield is making his third trip.
Hadfield will take over as commander of the space station, the first Canadian to do so, according to the NASA website.