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Successful launch for Russian Soyuz headed to Space Station (VIDEO)

Russia successfully launched three astronauts into space Sunday night, in a Soyuz rocket bound for the International Space Station.

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The Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan early Wednesday, June 8, 2011 carrying Expedition 28 Soyuz Commander Sergei Volkov of Russia, NASA Flight Engineer Mike Fossum and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa to the International Space Station. (NASA/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia successfully launched three astronauts into space Sunday night, in a Soyuz rocket bound for the International Space Station.

Two Russians and one American are aboard the rocket, which left Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 8.14am local time, the London Telegraph reported.

It is carrying Dan Burbank, from the American space agency Nasa, and Russians Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, and is due to arrive at the station on Wednesday.

Once in orbit, the men gave a thumbs-up signal to the on-board cameras and said: "Everything is normal and we are feeling fine", the BBC reported.

The Russian mission is designed to restore faith in Moscow's space program after a string of failures.

More on GlobalPost: Russia delays Space Station trip again

It is the first manned launch since Nasa ended its 30-year shuttle program in July.

The mission also marks the first launch of a Russian Soyuz craft since a similar unmanned rocket carrying cargo crashed into Siberia shortly after launch on August 24.

All manned space travel was suspended for almost three months following the crash, the BBC reported.

Scroll down to see a video of the manned Soyuz launch.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/111114/successful-launch-russian-soyuz-headed-space-station