A Russian space capsule has launched at the beginning of a two-day trip to the International Space Station.

The Soyuz capsule atop a towering Russian rocket blasted off at 7:36 a.m. Thursday (0136 GMT) from Russia's manned space-launch complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

It carried Russian Anatoly Ivanshin, NASA's Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi of the Japanese space agency JAXA.

The launch appeared flawless and the spacecraft entered orbit about 10 minutes after liftoff. The capsule is to dock with the orbiting space laboratory on Saturday.

The crew will join American Jeff Williams and Russians Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin, who have been aboard since March.