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Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts, including the first woman cosmonaut in 17 years, blasted off on schedule Friday, Septmber 26, Russian mission control said.
Yelena Serova is the first Russian woman to fly to the ISS and
the fourth Soviet or Russian woman cosmonaut.
She is accompanied by fellow cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev and NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore.
The new ISS crew members are scheduled to spend a total of 169 days in space.
Russia is currently the only country that can send astronauts to the ISS after the United States stopped its shuttle program.
NASA has vowed to continue cooperation aboard the ISS despite a major chill in relations over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis.