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Flawless Launch’ Sends Multinational Crew to Space Station

Image: The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-13M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome
The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-13M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, May 29. Dmitry Lovetsky / AP

A Russian rocket carrying a three-man crew to the International Space Station has blasted off successfully from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz booster rocket lifted off as scheduled at 1:57 a.m. Thursday (1957GMT Wednesday) and soared into the darkness over the Central Asian steppe in what a NASA commentator described as a "flawless launch."

Image: Soyuz
NASA's Reid Wiseman signals to his relatives from a bus window on Wednesday during a sending-off ceremony. KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP-Getty Images

The crew — NASA's Reid Wiseman, Russian cosmonaut Max Surayev and German Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency — were set to arrive at the orbiting station less than six hours later and remain there for six months.

—Associated Press