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Soyuz rocket carrying 3-man crew lifts off for ISS

28 May 2014 / All photos: ANP /

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, cosmonaut Maxim Suarev and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst will launch to the space station aboard the Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The trio will serve as the ISS Expedition 40/41 crew and will join the three astronauts currently aboard the space station. The ISS has been relatively empty as NASA astronaut Steve Swanson, serving as ISS Expedition 40 Commander, and cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev have been waiting since May 13 for the Expedition 40/41 trio.

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(L-R) Crew members of the 40/41 expedition to the International Space Station, European Space Agency's German astronaut Alexander Gerst, Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev and US NASA astronaut Gregory Wiseman pose for a photo the Russian leased Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome on May 21, 2014.

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Russian Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft is transported to the launch pad by train at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, 26 May 2014

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The Russian Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft stands at the launch pad preparing for the gantry arms close around securing the rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, 26 May 2014.

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The gantry arms begin to close around the Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft to secure the rocket, as seen in this multiple exposure photograph, at the launch pad at Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan

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n Orthodox priest blesses the Russian Soyuz TMA-13M rocket booster on the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, 27 May 2014.

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Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev tests his space suit at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome, prior to blasting off to the International Space Station (ISS) late on May 28, 2014

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(From L-R) Expedition 40/41 crew members - ESA German astronaut Alexander Gerst, Russian cosmonaut Max Suraev, US astronaut Reid Wiseman of NASA, US astronaut Teddy Virst of NASA, Russian astronaut Anton Shkaplerov, and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti - pose for a photograph during a press conference prior to the Expedition 40/41

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Member of main crew expedition 40 to International Space Station (ISS) Soyuz Flight Engineer US NASA astronaut Gregory R. Wiseman (R) and German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst (L) wave as they depart the Cosmonaut Hotel

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Crew members of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, gesture prior the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket

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Russia's Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of European Space Agency's German astronaut Alexander Gerst, Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev and US NASA astronaut Gregory Wiseman blasts off from the launch pad at Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome, early on May 29, 2014.

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