A Soyuz capsule carrying an American, Russian and Italian has successfully docked with the International Space Station, where the new crew will spend six months conducting a variety of experiments.
The docking took place at 10:10 p.m. EDT, less than six hours after the Russian spacecraft lifted off from Kazakhstan.
Live footage provided by NASA TV showed it soaring into the clear night sky. About four minutes later, the announcer said the Soyuz was traveling at 4,700 miles per hour.
The cramped capsule carrying NASA's Karen Nyberg, Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and Italy's Luca Parmitano orbited the Earth four times before docking with the space station.
Four spacewalks are planned during the mission, including what NASA said would be the first by an Italian.