Today morning a Russian Soyuz craft has been launched into the skies over Kazakhstan, carrying three astronauts on their way to the International space station.
The astronauts namely NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Russian astronaut Yury Malenchenko and Japan's Akihito Hoshide are set to travel for two days before meeting their three colleagues already at the permanent space spot.
Liftoff took place at 8:40am wherein the families and colleagues watched the launch of the craft from an observation platform in the Russian-leased cosmodrome.
Despite the intense G-force pressure, the three astronauts looked relaxed in television footage doing their routine activities.
The Soyuz dropped three rocket booster stages as it was propelled into orbit, which just takes around nine minutes.
The shell that is surrounding the capsule during the launch phase also peeled away, drenching the astronauts in bright yellow sunshine.
The solar arrays that have been installed on the Soyuz after the orbital entry will provide the craft with requisite power that is needed for 2 days trip.
Malenchenko, the Russian astronaut who is piloting the Soyuz, is one of the most experienced astronauts and is making the fifth space trip.
Sunita Williams, the 46-year old astronaut, who is of Indian-American heritage has spent 195 days at the space station in 2006-07. And now she is on her second mission and further will break the record for the longest halt in space for a female astronaut.
The Soyuz is scheduled to reach the space station by Tuesday at 8:52am Moscow Time.
Russians Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin and US astronaut Joseph Acaba, who make up the crew of Expedition 32, have been working at the space station since mid-May.
Japan's HTV3 Cargo ship will dock the space station next week and will be the first of nine craft making contact with the orbiting satellite over a span of 17-days.
Expeditions 32 and the incoming Expedition 33 have 33 experiments planned for their stay at the orbiting laboratory.
News reported by AR for Newsvision online news blog