Russian capsule docks with International Space Station

July 23, 2015 byPavel Golovkin
The Soyuz-FG booster rocket with the space capsule Soyuz TMA-14M launched to the International Space Station from the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, in Kazakhstan, early Thursday, July 23, 2015. The Russian rocket carries Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, U.S. astronaut Kjell Lindgen and Japan astronaut Kimiya Yui. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

A Soyuz space capsule carrying a Russian, an American and a Japanese docked smoothly Thursday with the International Space Station.

The capsule connected to the orbiting laboratory about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth at 0245 GMT.

The rocket had lifted off from a Russian manned launch facility in Kazakhstan about 5 hours and 45 minutes earlier at 2102 GMT Wednesday.

The rocket reached orbit about 15 minutes after launch and circled the Earth four times before heading for the .

The capsule carried Oleg Kononenko of Russia, NASA's Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui of Japan. Lindgren and Yui are on their first trips into space. Yui told a news conference that he was taking some sushi with him as a treat for the others.

They join Gennady Padalka, Mikhail Kornienko and Scott Kelly. The latter two are more than four months into a nearly year-long mission on the space station.

The launch was postponed by about two months after the April failure of an unmanned Russian cargo ship, which raised concerns about Russian rocketry. Another Russian cargo ship was successfully launched in early July.

From left: U.S. astronaut Kjell Lindgen, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and Japan astronaut Kimiya Yui, crew members of the next mission to the International Space Station, walk to report for Russian state commission prior to the launch of the Soyuz-FG booster rocket with the space capsule Soyuz TMA-14M at the Russian leased Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, early Thursday, July 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

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