- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) - A Soyuz space capsule carrying two Russians and an American is heading for the International Space Station after blasting off from Russia’s manned space launch complex in Kazakhstan.

The launch at 3:26 a.m. Saturday (2126 GMT Friday) appeared flawless and the craft entered orbit nine minutes after liftoff. The Soyuz is to dock with the space station about six hours later.

Russians Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka and NASA’s Jeff Williams are aboard for a six-month mission. At the end of it, Williams would notch the American record for cumulative days in space — 534 over three missions.

Russian Gennady Padalka holds the world record at 878.

Aboard the station, they will join American Tim Kopra, Russia’s Yuri Malenchenko and Briton Tim Peake flying for the European Space Agency.

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