A Soyuz rocket blasts off from Baikonur in Kazakhstan, carrying a Russian cosmonaut and astronauts from the US and Germany for a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.
The station is overseen by the United States and Russia, which have seen ties strained over events in Ukraine. This month, Russia said it would not support a US proposal to keep the station operating beyond 2020.
"It does not affect our working relationship," said US astronaut Steven Swanson, who is on the space station. "We get along very well. There are no issues at all up here." Photo: Reuters