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Lift-off, 50 years after Gagarin's first space trip

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Lift-off, 50 years after Gagarin's first space trip

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Half a century after the first manned flight into space, a Soyuz rocket has blasted off from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on a mission to the orbiting International Space Station.

Much has changed since the days of Yuri Gagarin, not least the close cooperation between the US and modern-day Russia.

Things may still be cramped in the spacecraft but now they are big enough to squeeze three people on board.

Two cosmonauts and one US astronaut will join the ISS crew as the centrepiece of celebrations to mark the anniversary.