US, Russian crew blast off for space station

By REUTERS
May 15, 2012 07:14

 
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KOROLYOV, Russia - A Soyuz spaceship carrying two Russians and one American astronaut blasted off for the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday after more than a month's delay over a problem with the hull of the Russian-built capsule.

NASA astronaut Joseph Acaba, veteran cosmonaut Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin, who is departing on his maiden space flight, launched in clear skies aboard the Soyuz TMA-04M rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday night.

Three minutes into the flight, the crew members gave a thumbs-up signal to a camera on board the capsule. An anchor inside Mission Control outside Moscow told assembled scientists and students that the three astronauts were feeling well.

The trio will berth early on Wednesday, joining Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA's Don Pettit and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers aboard the ISS, a $100 billion research complex orbiting about 240 miles above Earth.

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