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New ISS Crew Launches From Kazakhstan

U.S. astronaut Kate Rubins, left, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, centre, and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi, members of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), walk to report to members of the State Committee prior to the launch of Soyuz MS space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, July 7, 2016.

Three new crew members -- an American, a Russian, and a Japanese national -- are on their way to the International Space Station aboard a newly redesigned Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Kathleen Rubins, Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi blasted off from Russia's Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan early Thursday morning for the start of a two-day trip to the ISS, where they will join American commander Jeff Williams and Russian crewmates Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka.

The new crew will spend four months aboard the orbital outpost, where Rubins, a molecular biologist, will become the first person to sequence DNA in space. They will also conduct hundreds of other scientific experiments, and install a new docking port that will allow privately owned spacecraft to dock at the ISS.