Astronauts blast off for Christmas space mission

Russian cosmonaut and mission commander Oleg Kotov, bottom, U.S. astronaut Timothy J. Creame, center, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchir, top, crew members of the mission to the International Space Station (ISS), gesture prior the launch of the Soyuz-FG rocket at the launch pad of the Russian-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, Dec. 21, 2009. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

December 20, 2009 2:06:59 PM PST
A Russian rocket has blasted off from a cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, shuttling an American, a Russian and a Japanese to the International Space Station.