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Soyuz spacecraft launched into snow-filled skies

Mikhail Metzel / AFP - Getty Images

Russia's Soyuz TMA-22 rocket stands at a launch pad in the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, early on November 14.

msnbc.com staff and news services report from MOSCOW:

Three astronauts were lofted into orbit amid heavy snowfall on Monday, on a mission to bring the crew of the International Space Station back to full strength.

The U.S.-Russian crew is the first to enter orbit since NASA ended its 30-year shuttle program in July, heralding a period of several years when the space station's partners will have to rely solely on Russia to ferry crews. Read the full story.

Three astronauts are on their way to the International Space Station from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan following a three-month delay. Msnbc.com's Dara Brown reports.

Previously on PhotoBlog: Russian Soyuz spacecraft takes a train to launchpad