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Multinational ISS crew blasts off

Multinational ISS crew blasts off
Expedition 32 Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko, second from left, and NASA Flight Engineer Sunita Williams are escorted to the Soyuz rocket by senior ROSCOMOS management at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 15, 2012 in Kazakhstan. UPI//Carla Cioffi/NASA | License Photo

MOSCOW, July 15 (UPI) -- A new crew was on its way to the International Space Station Sunday after the launch of a Soyuz spacecraft, Russian space officials said.

The three-person crew included American astronaut Sunita Williams, cosmonaut Yury Malenchenko and Akhito Hoshide of Japan.

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Malenchenko is a veteran of five space missions and his crew mates have both served aboard the ISS before, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency said.

The trio will double the current population of the ISS and will carry out a schedule of more than 30 scientific tasks. Two cosmonauts and U.S. astronaut Joe Acaba have been in orbit in the station since May.

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