Photo: Joel Kowsky/NASA

The Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft blasted off this morning at 8:05 GMT from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with one astronaut and two cosmonauts bound for the International Space Station (ISS).

The successful launch came after a technical issue delayed the Expedition 49 trio’s mission in mid-September. Now, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko will ride out a two-day journey to the ISS, completing 34 orbits around Earth while testing the Soyuz spacecraft’s upgraded systems.

Once the craft reaches the ISS on Oct. 21, the arriving crew will begin a four-month mission carrying out hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science before returning to Earth in February, 2017.

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