Soyuz taking Russian-US-Japanese crew to ISS (VIDEO)

Russia’s Soyuz rocket carrier with the manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-05M has taken off for the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It will take the US-Russian-Japanese crew two days to reach the ISS.

­The crew of the next long-term Expedition 32/33 lifted off into orbit at 2:40 am GMT and the automated docking with the ISS is scheduled for July 17 at 7:40 am Moscow Time (3:40 am GMT).

Russian cosmonaut Yury Malenchenko, NASA astronaut Sanita Williams and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide will join up at the space station with the previous crew, NASA Flight Engineer Joseph Acaba and two Russian cosmonauts, Gennady Padalka and Sergey Revin, and stay at the ISS for four months.

The team is due to conduct 40 experiments, including some on the effects of weightlessness on bone density, as well as carrying out research on small-scale satellites.

The launch coincides with the 37th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project – the first docking of an American and Russian spacecraft.