Mon Feb 18, 2019 | 19:18
Astronauts leave Kazakhstan for space
Tue, 05 Apr 2011 19:38:45 GMT
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Ron Garan (R), Alexander Samokutyayev (C) and Andrei Borisenko (L) pose during the space suit test.
Three astronauts have blasted off for the International Space Station (ISS) in order to mark the 50th anniversary of the first flight to space by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

On Tuesday, one American and two Russians left Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for the ISS on the Russian Soyuz TMA-21 spaceship, AFP reported.

Cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Andrei Borisenko are on their first mission to space, while American astronaut Ronald Garan is making his second flight.

The Russian launch pad is the same location where Gagarin took off on April 12, 1961.

The flight dedicated to Gagarin is to last for six months, with 40 experiments scheduled.

Later this year, Russia's Soyuz is to become the major deliverance system for humans to the ISS, as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration plans to end its shuttle system's activity.

Gagarin's flight, which lasted for 108 minutes, brought victory to the Soviet Union at the peak of the Cold War.

Yuri Gagarin went on the historical mission at the age of 26. He died in a jet crash eight years later.

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