A Soyuz space capsule carrying a three-person, multi-national crew docked with the International Space Station early Saturday, some 400 kilometers above the Earth.
NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi lifted off from Russia's space complex in Baikonaur, Kazakhstan Thursday.
The crew will spend four months in the orbiter.
Rubins is a cancer and infectious diseases researcher. She plans to attempt the first DNA sequencing in space.
They are joining American Jeff Williams and Russians Oleg Skropochka and Alexey Ovchinin.
NASA has been depending on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to travel to the ISS since the end of the Space Shuttle program five years ago. The U.S. space agency hopes to get back in the business of flying to the space station in 2018, using spacecraft developed by Boeing and privately owned SpaceX.