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15 May, 2012 04:03

Soyuz takes new crew to ISS (VIDEO)

A Soyuz spacecraft has successfully launched from Baikonur Space Center, and is taking a Russian-American crew to the International Space Station.

The spacecraft lifted off at 3:01am GMT on Tuesday from the launch site in the steppes of Kazakhstan.The new crew includes Russia’s Roscosmos cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin, and NASA astronaut Joe Acaba. They are expected to dock to the ISS on Thursday morning, joining Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, the European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, and NASA astronaut Donald Pettit, who arrived at the station last December."Although our sojourn in space has been cut down to 126 days, it has a very tightly-packed program," captain Gennady Padalka told a pre-flight news conference. "The scientific section at the Russian segment of the station alone has forty experiments, including the launch of a small satellite for simulating the fall of space objects to the Earth."The new crew is later expected to receive a Japanese cargo ship and two US commercial spacecraft.