An American Went to Space Today

J.K. Trotter
An American Went to Space Today

A Canadian, a Russian, and an American were blasted into space today, destined for the International Space Station. With the NASA limiting its rocket launches and shutting down its manned flight program, the astronauts were sponsored by a pair of Canadian agencies studying the effects of aging on the human body. "To monitor for blood changes in astronauts on the station," says Elizabeth Howell at NBC, "the spaceflyers will take samples while still in orbit, then ship them back to Earth."

RELATED: NASA's Hitchhiking Era Begins

Tom Marshburn, the American astronaut, worked on the ISS before (in 2009); he'll be joining his NASA colleague Kevin A. Ford, who boarded the ISS nearly two months ago.

RELATED: NASA No Longer Needs Russia to Feed Its Astronauts

The launch took place in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, a small city rented by Russia to host the Baikonur Cosmodrome, a massive space launch facility and site of the Sputnik launch.