Russian capsule heads for space station

December 15, 2015
The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-19M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. The Russian rocket carries British astronaut Tim Peake, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and U.S. astronaut Tim Kopra. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

A Russian space capsule carrying three astronauts from the United States, Britain and Russia has blasted off for the International Space Station.

The Soyuz capsule is scheduled to dock with the orbiting laboratory at 8:23 p.m. Moscow time (1723 GMT) Tuesday, about six-and-a-half hours after it lifted off from the Russian manned space launch facility on the steppes of Kazakhstan.

The launch went off with no reported problems and the capsule entered orbit about nine minutes after liftoff, at an altitude of about 125 miles (212 kilometers).

Aboard are Russian Yuri Malenchenko, Timothy Kopra of NASA and Briton Timothy Peake, representing the European Space Agency.

The mission is to spend six months aboard the . Already aboard are Russians Sergey Volkov and Mikhail Korniyenko, along with American Scott Kelly. The latter two have been on the space station since March and are on a year-long mission.

  • The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-19M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. The Russian rocket carries British astronaut Tim Peake, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and U.S. astronaut Tim Kopra. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
  • The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-19M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, flies in the sky at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. The Russian rocket carries British astronaut Tim Peake, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and U.S. astronaut Tim Kopra. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
  • British astronaut Tim Peake, left, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, center, and U.S. astronaut Tim Kopra, members of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), walk to report to members of the State Committee prior to the launch of Soyuz TMA-19M space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, Pool)

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