An American and two Russians blasted off for the International Space Station from Kazakhstan today in a Soyuz rocket. NASA astronaut Kevin Ford and Russians Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin will travel for two days before meeting up with US astronaut Sunita Williams, Russia's Yuri Malenchenko, and Japan's Aki Hoshide at the orbiting station, the AP reports. Only Ford, who piloted the space shuttle Discovery for two weeks in 2009, has been in space before.
Even so, "for me this is a very new adventure, launching from Russia and launching aboard a Soyuz," Ford said, according to Space.com. "The Soyuz is an amazing spacecraft." The group is on a five-month mission.