A Russian Soyuz rocket taking a multinational crew to the International Space Station has blasted off successfully from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
NASA's Reid Wiseman, Russian cosmonaut Max Surayev and German Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency were set to arrive at the orbiting station less than six hours later and remain there for six months.
They will join two Russians and an American who have been at the station since March.
The Russian and U.S. space agencies have continued to cooperate despite friction between the two countries over Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. NASA depends on the Russian spacecraft to ferry crews to the space station.