Three astronauts take off bound for International Space Station

The next three crew members of the International Space Station took off from Kazakhstan early Thursday, NASA said.

US astronaut Kate Rubins, her Russian colleague Anatoly Ivanishin and Japan's Takuya Onishi lifted off at 7:37 am (0137 GMT) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

The launch appeared to go off as planned, according to footage streamed live from the US space agency's Youtube channel.

The three crew will join the ISS team for around four months in space before returning in October, it said.

The trip up will be on the latest upgrade of the Russian-made Soyuz rocket, and will take two days and 34 orbits of Earth to reach the space station.

Last update: Thu, 07/07/2016 - 12:41

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