Astronaut trio blasts off for space station

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 07, 2011 4:24 PM

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Soyuz spacecraft blasted off for the International Space Station on Wednesday with a Russian, an American and a Japanese astronaut on board.

The cramped Russian craft is to deliver cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, Japan's Satoshi Furukawa and 53-year-old NASA astronaut Michael Fossum to the orbital station after a two-day voyage up from the Kazakh steppe.

Its booster rocket trailing a jet of flame in the night sky in televised footage, the Soyuz TMA-02M lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on schedule shortly after 2 a.m. on Wednesday (2000 GMT on Tuesday).

(Writing by Steve Gutterman and Alissa de Carbonnel)