12/21/2011 08:13 EST | Updated 02/20/2012 05:12 EST

LIVE | Soyuz rocket heads to space station

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Don Pettit, European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko is due to launch at 8:16 a.m. ET from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The trio will dock with the International Space Station on Friday.