Kazakhstan shook with the sound of burning rockets overnight, as the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft took off for the international space station.
The successful launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:01 p.m. EDT, 14 May, took Expedition 31 Flight Engineers Joe Acaba, Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin into space.
The Soyuz spacecraft will take two days to travel to the ISS.
The crew will join Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers, for a four-month mission.
Mission 30, Kononenko, Pettit and Kuipers, arrived on the ISS on 23 December 2012 and will return home on 1 July.
Padalka is making his third visit to the station, fourth long-duration spaceflight and his third aboard the station. He was previously station commander for Expedition 9 in 2004 and Expedition 19/20 in 2009.