Soyuz spacecraft blasts off

Soyuz spacecraft blasts off

Russian Soyuz TMA-17 rocket blasts off to the International Space Station from the launchpad at Baikonur cosmodrome on Sunday. AFP

The TMA-17 spacecraft was launched at 00:52 hrs from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan and it separated from the Soyuz-FG booster on schedule.

It is scheduled to dock with the ISS in the automated mode Wednesday.

The spacecraft carries Russia's Oleg Kotov, NASA's Timothy Creamer and Japan's Soichi Noguchi, who are to join the current ISS crew of US astronaut Jeff Williams and Russian Maxim Surayev.

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