A three-man team on 15 May 2012 blasted off from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on board a Russian-made Soyuz craft for a half-year stay at the International Space Station. Nasa astronaut Joseph Acaba and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin set off from the Baikonur facility as scheduled.
The craft was due to dock with the space station on 17 April 2012. The crew will join the three astronauts on the orbiting laboratory. Russia is now the sole nation capable of transporting humans to the International Space Station after the withdrawal of the US shuttle but this blast-off was the first manned flight from Baikonur since 21 December 2011.