Three-nation crew blasts off for space station

ALMATY Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:24pm EST

1 of 19. The Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of U.S. astronaut Thomas Marshburn, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield blasts off from its launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome December 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov

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ALMATY (Reuters) - A Soyuz spacecraft carrying a Russian, an American and a Canadian blasted off on Wednesday to the International Space Station (ISS), where the men are to spend half a year in orbit.

The Russian-built Soyuz TMA-07M lifted off on time, at 1212 GMT, from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

On the crew's two-day trip to the ISS, Canadian Chris Hadfield is joined by U.S. astronaut Tom Mashburn and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko.

They will join U.S. astronaut Kevin Ford and Russians Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin, who have been manning the $100-billion, 15-nation research complex since October.

(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Alison Williams)

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