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Soyuz Rocket Launch: U.S., Russian Crew Blast Off For International Space Station

Reuters  |  Posted: 05/14/2012 11:11 pm Updated: 05/15/2012 10:16 am


KOROLYOV, Russia, May 15 (Reuters) - A Soyuz spaceship carrying two Russians and one American astronaut blasted off for the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday after more than a month's delay over a problem with the hull of the Russian-built capsule.

NASA astronaut Joseph Acaba, veteran cosmonaut Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin, who is departing on his maiden space flight, launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-04M rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0301 GMT.

The flight was delayed from March 30 to allow Russia's partly state-owned space contractor, RKK Energia, to prepare a new capsule for launch after an accident during pressure tests damaged the Soyuz crew capsule.

Moscow hopes a smooth mission will begin to restore confidence in its once-pioneering space programme after a string of launch mishaps last year. (Reporting by Nastassia Astrasheuskaya; Editing by Robin Paxton and Sandra Maler)

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Filed by Jade Walker  |