American astronaut Scott Kelly and two Russians board the International Space Station, joining three colleagues to complete construction of the outpost.
The US is ending its 30-year-old shuttle program due to high operating costs and has turned over the ferrying of station crew to Russia.
A Russian capsule launched from Kazahkstan Friday carried the crew to the $100 billion station that has been under construction for more than a decade.
NASA plans to send two shuttles with parts and equipment in November and February.
If plans hold, the February mission will mark the first time blood relatives are in space together.
The shuttle mission commander, Mark Kelly, is the twin brother of Scott Kelly who will take over command of the International Space Station in November.
The new crew members will spend six months at the station 220 miles above Earth.