Space capsule with 3 astronauts blasts off to orbiting lab

July 28, 2017
U.S. astronaut Randy Bresnik, member of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), waves to his family from a bus prior the launch of Soyuz MS-05 space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Shamil Zhumatov, Pool)

A Soyuz space capsule successfully blasted off for the International Space Station on Friday, carrying an American astronaut, a Russian cosmonaut and an Italian astronaut.

NASA's Randy Bresnik, Russia's Sergei Ryazansky and Italy's Paolo Nespoli lifted off from the Russia-leased launch pad in Kazakhstan shortly after sunset at 21:41 p.m. on Friday (1541 GMT, 11:41 a.m. EDT). They will travel six hours before docking at the space station.

The three will join NASA's Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson as well as the veteran Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin.

Bresnik previously logged 10 days in space when he flew on a mission in 2009, performing two spacewalks. Russia's Ryazansky is the crew's most experience astronaut with 160 days in under his belt.

The incoming crew will contribute to more than 250 experiments conducted at the orbiting lab in fields such as biology, human research, physical sciences and technology development.

Flight Engineer Whitson earlier this week was doing research for a cancer study that may help develop more effective treatments for cancer patients, NASA reported.

U.S. astronaut Randy Bresnik, right, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, centre, Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, members of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), walk prior the launch of Soyuz MS-05 space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Shamil Zhumatov, Pool)

Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, member of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), gestures prior the launch of Soyuz MS-05 space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Ilnitsky, Pool)
Russian Space Agency experts help to U.S. astronaut Randy Bresnik, member of the main crew to the International Space Station (ISS), to sit during inspecting his space suit prior the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli member of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), helps to Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy to take off his helmet after inspecting his space suit prior prior the launch of Soyuz MS-05 space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, crew member of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, waves near the rocket prior the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, Pool)
U.S. astronaut Randy Bresnik, top, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, bottom, and Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, crew members of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, wave near the rocket prior the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, Pool)
Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, a crew member of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, waves near the rocket prior the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, Pool)

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