KOROLYOV, Russia (Reuters) - A Russian Soyuz spacecraft, carrying two cosmonauts and a U.
S.
astronaut to the International Space Station, blasted off early on Tuesday from Russias launchpad in Kazakhstan, blazing a fiery trail across the night sky.
Russian Soyuz Commander Alexander Samokutyayev, NASA Flight Engineer Ron Garan and cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko are to join three other crew members aboard the orbital station after a two-day trip from Earth aboard the cramped spacecraft, an upgraded model of a Soviet-designed standby.
Russian Mission Control said the three men lifted off on schedule from the Baikonur cosmodrome at 0418 local time (2218 GMT on Monday).
The Soyuz-TMA 21 spacecraft has reached orbit, Samokutyayev, strapped in with his two crewmates, reported to Russian Mission Control a few minutes into the flight after the rocket stages dropped off.
The crew in white space suits flashed thumbs up to onboard cameras and a stuffed toy mascot began floating above their heads as they entered weightlessness.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 06-Apr-2011 here.