The Straits Times
Published on Oct 23, 2012

Russian rocket launches 3 astronauts to ISS


BAIKONUR (AFP) - A Russian rocket carrying two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut blasted off on Tuesday for the International Space Station.

Russia's Mr Oleg Novitskiy and Mr Evgeny Tarelkin and Nasa's Mr Kevin Ford blasted off in a Soyuz TMA-06M space craft on schedule at 1051 GMT (6.51pm Singapore time) from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, an AFP correspondent said.

Russian state television showed live footage of the astronauts strapped into the cramped craft and reading instructions, with their mascot, a toy hippo with a "Russia" logo swinging above them.

The Soyuz spacecraft is due to dock with the ISS on Thursday at 1235 GMT (8.35pm Singapore time).