12:50 Jul. 7, 2016
Launch marked the debut flight of a next-generation Russian Soyuz capsule
A three-member multinational crew blasted off aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan on Thursday for a two-day trip to the International Space Station, a NASA TV broadcast showed.
NASA astronaut Kathleen "Kate" Rubins, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 0136 GMT on Thursday (9:36p.m. EDT Wednesday) and reached orbit nine minutes later.
A video of the launch has been uploaded online by Roscosmos.
The crew's Russian Soyuz capsule is scheduled to arrive at the station, which orbits about 400 km above Earth, at 0412 GMT Saturday (12:12 a.m. EDT) to begin a four-month mission.
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"I'm incredibly excited about a lot of the biology experiments we're going to be doing," Rubins said in a NASA interview before launch.
Thursday's launch marked the debut flight of a next-generation Russian Soyuz capsule, currently the only vehicles capable of ferrying crew members to and from the station, a 0 billion project of 15 nations.