The launch took place at 06.41 p.m. Moscow time (15:41 GMT), and the Soyuz capsule is set to separate from the third stage of the carrier rocket minutes after the start. The spacecraft will then enter the approach trajectory with the ISS and is expected to dock with the station six hours later.
The new crew comprises Russian cosmonaut Sergei Ryazansky, NASA astronaut Randolph Bresnik and European Space Agency's astronaut Paolo Nespoli. They are expected to spend 139 days in space.
Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and US astronauts Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson of the Expedition 52, currently on board the ISS, are due to return to Earth in September.