A Soyuz space capsule carrying a Russian, an American and a Japanese docked smoothly on Thursday with the International Space Station.
The capsule connected to the orbiting laboratory about 400 kilometres above Earth at 0345 CET.
The rocket reached orbit about 15 minutes after launch and circled the Earth four times before heading for the space station.
It had lifted off from a Russian manned launch facility in Kazakhstan about 5 hours and 45 minutes earlier at 2302 GMT Wednesday.
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