WATCH: Toy dog among new members of the International Space Station

New supplies are being brought to the ISS

WATCH: Toy dog among new members of the International Space Station

Image via @Space_Station on Twitter

Three new members are joining the crew of the International Space Station, including a toy dog.

The imitation pooch was spotted by NASA cameras shortly after blast off in Kazakhstan.

A voice-over from NASA Communication says: "There's a great view of that dog - you can see it's floating now - so the crew member's now exposed to that micro-gravity environment".

NASA Astronaut Jack Fischer and Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikin are now safely in orbit.

The pair are travelling on a fast-track, six-hour course to the space station and will dock to the Poisk module.

 Fyodor Yurchikhin (left) and Jack Fischer (right) give a thumbs up in front of their Soyuz booster rocket | Image: NASA/Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center/Andrey Shelepin

They will be welcomed by Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and flight engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Thomas Pesquet.

The Soyuz MS-04 launched Thursday while the space station was flying about 250 miles over north-east Kazakhstan.

Two days after Yurchikhin and Fischer dock, a cargo craft will arrive to re-supply the orbital laboratory.

The Cygnus spacecraft will deliver experiments supporting research into cancer-fighting drugs, semiconductor crystal growth and atmospheric re-entry conditions.

Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo spacecraft is pictured using a robotic arm on the International Space Station | Image: Flickr/NASA Johnson

This is Cosmonaut Yurchikhin's fifth mission to the station and Astronaut Fischer's first.

Speaking before blast off, Astronaut Fischer said: "I was always the kid who was driving the tractors and the trucks and the trailers and everything - and I was also the one who would up-keep them.

"Really that has followed me through certainly as a pilot, and now as an astronaut, working with machines and being in tune to how they're operating and what you need to do to get them at their peak efficiency.

"I think that has followed me my entire career".