Russia launches manned spacecraft to ISS
Moscow: Russia's manned Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft was successfully launched from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan Monday and was heading for the International Space Station (ISS), Russia's Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.
The spacecraft carried three new crew for the ISS), Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin from Russia and Daniel Burbank of the US, Xinhua reported.
The launch, which was conducted as planned at 08.14 Moscow time, had been delayed for almost two months after a Progress cargo spacecraft crash in August.
Roscosmos said the spacecraft reached its planned orbit nine minutes after lift-off and had begun its two-day flight to the ISS.
All the spacecraft's systems were working normally and the crew felt well, a Baikonur source told Itar-Tass news agency.
The docking with Poisk module of the ISS's Russian segment is slated for 09.33 Moscow time (0533 GMT) Wednesday.
The new crew members will join Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, Japanese Space Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and NASA astronaut Michael Fossum, who have been working in orbit since early June.
The crew planned to celebrate the ISS's 75,000th orbit of earth, said Russian cosmonaut Shkaplerov before the launch.
They will conduct 37 experiments, including orbiting the Chibis micro-satellite, which studies gamma-radiation generated by lightning in the atmosphere.