Soyuz Capsule Heads For Space Station

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan — A Soyuz space capsule with a Russian-American crew has blasted off for the international space station.

The capsule lifted off on schedule Thursday afternoon in a roar of fire and noise from the Russian space program’s manned launch facility on the barren steppes of Kazakhstan.

It carries Russian Gennady Padalka, American Michael Barratt, and Charles Simonyi, an American software billionaire who is making his second trip to the station as a paying “space tourist.”