ISS launch: New US-Russian crew heads to space station

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A SpaceX rocket carrying three US astronauts and one Russian cosmonaut has blasted off from Florida bound for the International Space Station (ISS).

They have a six-month mission, and space is one of the few areas where the US and Russia continue to co-operate closely despite the war in Ukraine.

The three men and one woman are in a capsule used in space four times before by Elon Musk’s SpaceX firm.

They plan to do various experiments.

Their research will include growing artificial replicas of human organs to study degenerative diseases in the low-gravity environment – which is not possible on Earth.

The crew blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 22:53 local time (03:53 GMT Monday).

The first launch attempt on Saturday had been called off due to strong winds.

Four astronauts strapped to their seats in a capsule ready to go to spaceIMAGE SOURCE,NASA
Image caption,

The crew are going to the International Space Station in the Dragon Endeavour capsule

Matthew Dominick is the leader of the mission and, along with fellow American Jeanette Epps and Russian Alexander Grebenkin, is making his first flight into space.

The other crew member is physician Michael Barratt, on his third visit to the ISS.

The International Space Station is a rare area of international co-operation between various global governments, and is maintained by the space agencies of Canada, Europe, Japan, the United States and Russia.

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