Lift off for ISS Christmas

21:22, Dec 19 2012

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying a Russian, an American and a Canadian blasted off today to the International Space Station (ISS), where the men are to spend half a year in orbit.

The Russian-built Soyuz TMA-07M lifted off on time, at 12.12am, from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

On the crew's two-day trip to the ISS, Canadian Chris Hadfield is joined by US astronaut Tom Mashburn and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko.

They will join US astronaut Kevin Ford and Russians Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin, who have been manning the US$100-billion, 15-nation research complex since October.