Russia's Soyuz TMA-21 piloted spacecraft has been launched early on Tuesday to the International Space Station.
The spacecraft atop a Soyuz-FG carrier rocket blasted off at 2:18 Moscow time (22:18 GMT Monday) from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.
The Soyuz TMA-21 has later reached its designated orbit after separating from the carrier rocket and is scheduled to dock with the ISS on April 7 at 3:18 Moscow time (23:18 GMT, April 6).
The new ISS crew consists of Russians Alexander Samokutyayev and Andrei Borisenko, and U.S. astronaut Ronald Garan.
They will join the current crew comprising Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli and NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman.
The launch of the TMA-21, named 'Gagarin' to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Yury Gagarin's space flight, was originally scheduled for March 30 but was postponed due to technical problems.
BAIKONUR (Kazakhstan), April 5 (RIA Novosti)
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