Statesville native now in space, headed to ISS

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BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan –  A Soyuz spacecraft carrying three astronauts, including a man originally from Statesville, has taken off atop a towering Russian rocket, headed for the International Space Station.

The Soyuz launched from Russia’s manned-space facility in the steppes of Kazakhstan around 7 a.m. Eastern.

Statesville native Dr. Tom Marshburn, Russian Roman Romanenko and Canada’s Chris Hadfield will travel for two days in the capsule, before docking with the space station.

As he did on his Space Shuttle Endeavor mission in July 2009, Dr. Marshburn will serve as a flight engineer on the flight

Dr. Marshburn was born in Statesville in 1960. He graduated from high school in Georgia and attended Davidson College. He then graduated from Wake Forest University in 1989.

Dr. Marshburn was selected by NASA in May 2004.  In February 2006, he completed Astronaut Candidate Training that included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training, and was qualified for various technical assignments within the Astronaut Office and future flight assignment as a mission specialist.

Dr. Marshburn completed his first spaceflight in July 2009, logging more than 376 hours in space, and 18 hours and 59 minutes of EVA in three spacewalks. 

Dr. Marshburn and the other members of his 34 crew are slated to stay at the ISS until May 2013.

Fox News contributed to this report.