Russia and U.S. Space

A U.S. Russian-Brazilian crew has blasted off atop a Soyuz rocket.

The launch from the Russian space port in Kazakhstan came just after dawn Thursday and puts the crew on course for a rendezvous Saturday with the International Space Station.

Russian Pavel Vinogradov and American Jeffrey Williams are to stay on board the station for about six months.

Brazil's first man in space, Marcos Pontes, will stay at the station for nine days before returning to Earth April Ninth with the station's current two man crew.