Two new crew members boarded the International Space Station bringing the total crew count to five.
Crew members cheered as the capsules opened, safely delivering an American astronaut making his first space flight and a veteran Russian cosmonaut to the International Space Station.
NASA’s Jack Fischer and Russia’s veteran Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin lifted off from the Russia-leased launch facility in Kazakhstan at 0713 GMT.
They reached orbit about nine minutes later, a moment demonstrated when a small stuffed white dog hanging from a string in the capsule began to float.
Fischer and Yurchikhin joined the three-person crew under the command of NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who at 57 is the oldest woman to be in space.
The others are Russia’s Oleg Novitskiy and France’s Thomas Pesque