March 18, 2016 4:36 pm
Updated: March 19, 2016 8:30 am

Astronauts arrive at International Space Station Friday

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-20M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Saturday, March 19, 2016. The Russian rocket carries NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonauts, Oleg Skripochka and Alexei Ovchinin of Roscosmos.

AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

NASA astronauts Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin are safely aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The three blasted off aboard a Soyuz rocket from Kazakhastan at 5:26 p.m. ET on Friday.

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Currently there are three astronauts aboard the ISS following the return of three crew members earlier this month, which included Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko who were part of the One-Year Mission. The mission was to study the effects of long-duration spaceflight.

The crew will spend six months in space. During that time, Williams will become the new American record-holder for most time cumulative time spent in space. His time in space will total 534 days, while Kelly’s record is 520.

Russian Gennady Padalka holds the world record at 878.

The spacecraft docked successfully with the space station six hours later.

*With files from the Associated Press

© 2016 Shaw Media

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