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U.S.-Russian crew lifts off for space station

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Arrival delayed, now scheduled for Thursday
  • The fresh crew launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan
  • They are traveling aboard a Russian rocket
  • Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Artemyev and Steve Swanson will return in September

(CNN) -- Blastoff!

A fresh crew took off for the International Space Station on Tuesday aboard a Russian rocket.

Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev -- of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) -- and Steve Swanson of NASA are riding inside the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft, NASA said in a statement.

They launched at 5:17 p.m. ET from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and were expected to dock some six hours later.

But the spacecraft was not able to complete its third thruster burn, delaying the crew's arrival, NASA said. They are now scheduled to reach the space station on Thursday.

Initial information suggests the spacecraft was not in the proper orientation for the burn.

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The three astronauts were reported to be in good condition.

"As is customary, Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev will have several days set aside to familiarize themselves with their new home in space. The new trio will also assist the veteran crewmates as they adjust to living and working in space for six months," NASA said in its statement.

The three will join Koichi Wakata of Japan, Rick Mastracchio of the United States and Mikhail Tyurin of Russia, who are expected to return home in May.

Skvortsov, Artemyev and Swanson are scheduled to return in September.

Amid U.S.-Russian tensions over Ukraine, space show goes on

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