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US-Russian crew blasts off for space station

The Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft carrying the crew of Shane Kimbrough of the US, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Russia blasts off to the International Space Station (ISS) from the launchpad at the Baikonur cosmodrome

A US astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts blasted off from Kazakhstan on Wednesday for a two-day journey to the International Space Station.

The Soyuz space ship carrying Nasa’s Shane Kimbrough and Russians Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 14:05 local time (0805 GMT) and reached orbit about eight minutes later.

It will travel in space for two days before docking at the station, which orbits about 400km above Earth.

The trio will replace three ISS crew members – Kate Rubins of Nasa, Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency – who are due to return to Earth on Oct 29.

Wednesday’s launch was originally scheduled for Sept 23, but was postponed because of technical problems with the Soyuz that have since been fixed.

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