MOSCOW (AP) - A Soyuz spacecraft carrying two Russians and an American has lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, soaring into the night sky for a six-hour trip to the International Space Station.
Seated inside the cramped capsule were NASA's Michael Hopkins and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky, who are to orbit the Earth four times before docking at the orbiting outpost, where they will spend six months conducting a variety of experiments.
Live coverage provided by NASA TV showed the launch went off as scheduled shortly before 1 a.m. Moscow time on Thursday (2100GMT, 5 p.m. EDT Wednesday) at the cosmodrome, which Russia leases in Kazakhstan.
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