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Astronaut trio heads to space station

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The Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft launches from the Baikanour cosmodrome. A NASA TV photo

BAIKONUR (BNS): A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying three new crew members for the International Space Station (ISS) has launched from Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz TMA-07M spaceship with Russia's Roman Romanenko, NASA's Tom Marshburn Canadian Space Agency's Chris Hadfield blasted off at 1212 GMT (6:12 pm local time) Wednesday from the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.

The trio will orbit the Earth for two days before docking to the Rassvet module of the space station at 9:12 am (1412 GMT) Friday, NASA said.

The new crew members will join Commander Kevin Ford of NASA and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin of Roscosmos who've been residing at the orbital laboratory since Oct 26, 2012.

The six-member crew will work at the orbital outpost until March 2013 when Ford, Novitskiy and Tarelkin undock from the ISS's Poisk module and return home inside the Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft for a landing in Kazakhstan.

When they undock, Expedition 35 will officially begin as Hadfield becomes commander staying behind with Marshburn and Romanenko before finally returning home in May 2013, the US space agency said.

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Soyuz  ISS  space  NASA  Roscosmos  
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