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More than a month after its original launch date, a Soyuz spaceship with a Russian and American crew has blasted off for the International Space Station.

It was a trouble-free lift-off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for NASA astronaut Joe Acaba and his Russian colleagues, veteran cosmonaut Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin, making his maiden space flight.

Since its space shuttles retired in 2011, the US has been dependent on Russia to fly its astronauts to the ISS.

Initially delayed by technical problems, this mission will last until September. Moscow is hoping everything will go smoothly to help restore confidence in its space progrmme after a series of botched launches last year.

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