A Russian spacecraft carrying two cosmonauts and an American astronaut to the International Space Station blasted off from Russia’s launch facility in Kazakhstan early this morning.
It will take Alexander Kaleri, Oleg Skripochka and Scott Kelly two days to reach the ISS on board the first of a new generation Soyuz TMA-01M.
It had been feared their launch might be delayed as the craft was damaged en route to the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
The crew will spend almost six months on the ISS. Before he leaves, Scott Kelly should be joined by his identical twin, Mark, who is also an astronaut and is preparing the final flight of the space shuttle Endeavour.