Photos: Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft heads for space station

By PETER LEONARD

The Associated Press

Published: December 19, 2012 05:17PM
Updated: December 19, 2012 03:27PM
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The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-07M space ship transporting U.S. astronaut Thomas Marshburn, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield to the International Space Station blasts off from the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) -- A Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American, a Russian and a Canadian headed Wednesday for the International Space Station, where they will spend four months carrying out dozens of experiments.

The spacecraft launched from a Russian-leased manned-space facility in the frigid steppes of Kazakhstan at 6:12 p.m. (1212 GMT). It took off atop a towering Russian rocket and went into orbit about 15 minutes later.

American Tom Marshburn, Russian Roman Romanenko and Canadian Chris Hadfield will travel for two days in the capsule, before docking with the mammoth space station where three other people are already on board.

Russian Federal Space Agency chief Vladimir Popovkin said the liftoff took place "without a hitch."