The Soyuz spacecraft carrying three new space station crew members has lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for the International Space Station (ISS).

The crew – Nasa astronaut TJ Creamer, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi – will join the Expedition 22 crew – Nasa astronaut Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonaut Max Suraev at the station.

The mission will include a spacewalk in January 2010 from the Pirs airlock, part of the station’s Russian segment.

The Soyuz spacecraft is expected to dock today and will fly from its current location on the end of the outpost’s Zvezda service module to the new Poisk module as a part of the mission.

In February 2010, a Progress unmanned resupply ship and space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-130 will launch for the station.