Russia’s manned spaceship carrying three astronauts blasted off late Wednesday from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur space centre, heading to the International Space Station (ISS). The three astronauts aboard the Soyuz TMA- 13M spaceship were Maxim Surayev of Russia, Gregory Wiseman of NASA of the US, and Alexander Gerst from the European Space Agency. They are expected to carry out a 167-day mission at the ISS, Xinhua reported. They will join Russia’s Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, and NASA’s Steve Swanson, who have been working aboard the ISS since March. They will undertake such tasks as video filming and photography, as well as working with cargo transport spacecraft of the Progress series.
A live TV footage showed the carrier rocket Soyuz FG with the Soyuz TMA-13M atop was launched at 2057 GMT Wednesday from the Gagarin’s Site 1 of Baikonur. The spacecraft is expected to dock with the ISS at 0248 GMT Thursday.