Russia launches manned spacecraft to ISS
Russia's spacecraft Soyuz TMA-04M with a crew of three blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, according to Russia's Federal Space Agency Roscosmos.
The Soyuz rocket, carrying the manned spacecraft, was launched from the Gagarin launch pad at 7:00 Moscow time (0300 GMT) with two Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin and a NASA astronaut Joe Acaba, Xinhua reported.
After orbital insertion, the spaceship is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) at 8:39 (0439 GMT) Moscow time on Thursday in an automatic mode, the Roscosmos said.
It was crew commander Padalka's fourth space flight and first space trip for environmental engineer Revin. California-born hydrogeologist Acaba, who performed his first spacewalk in 2009, will celebrate his 45th birthday in space on Thursday, the same day the Soyuz docking to the ISS.
The launch of the Soyuz spacecraft had been postponed for two months after an air leak was found in the spacecraft's re-entry vehicle.