Americans, Russian head for International Space Station

Joe Acaba, Alexander Misurkin, and Mark Vande Hei
        Image NASA

Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, bottom, USA astronauts Joseph Acaba, centre, and Mark Vande Hei, crew members of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, wave near the rocket prior the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017.

A Soyuz space capsule with two Americans and a Russian aboard has blasted off for the International Space Station from Russia's manned launch facility in Kazakhstan. The hatches between the spacecraft and station will open at 12:40 a.m. Wednesday.

For more than 16 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space.

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Both Misurkin and Acaba are spaceflight veterans, while this will be the first flight for Vende Hei.

The members of the crew are Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) cosmonaut Aleksandr Misurkin and NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei. They will join the current ISS crew of Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky, NASA astronaut Randolph Bresnik and ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli.

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