One American, two Russians blast off in Russian capsule to International Space Station

MOSCOW (AP) — One American and two Russians blasted off Friday aboard a Russian spacecraft on a quick trip to the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. O’Hara will spend six months at the station while Kononenko and Chub will spend a year there.

The trio was supposed to fly to the space station last spring, but their original capsule was needed as a replacement for another crew. That crew — also two Russians and an American — will ride it home later this month. Their stay was extended from six months to a year when their Soyuz capsule developed a coolant leak while parked at the station.

It’s the first spaceflight for O’Hara and Chub, while mission commander Kononenko is on his fifth trip to the orbiting outpost.

The crew was due to arrive three hours later, joining seven station residents from U.S., Russia, Denmark and Japan.

By the end of his yearlong stay, Kononenko will set a new record for the longest time in space, more than a thousand days.

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