Photos released by the Russian space agency show the launch of a Soyuz booster on Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with two Russian cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut headed to the International Space Station.
The 162-foot (49-meter) tall Soyuz-2.1a rocket took off from Pad No. 31 of Baikonur at 10:45:04 local time on Wednesday. Takeoff took place at 0545: 04 GMT (1:45:04 EDT).
The kerosene-powered engines of the Soyuz rocket generated more than 900,000 pounds of thrust to propel the mission off the launch pad in Baikonur.
Less than 10 minutes later, the Soyuz upper tier deployed the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft into orbit, initiating a two-orbit rendezvous with the space station. The crew capsule connected with the Rassvet module on the space station at 4:48 am EDT (0848 GMT).
Commander Sergey Ryzhikov sat in the center during the three-hour chase of the space station by the Soyuz MS-1
Russian cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov drove in the left seat of the Soyuz and served as the principal flight engineer. Kud-Sverchkov is a 37-year-old who first traveled to space and joined the Russian cosmonaut corps in 2010 after working as a rocket engineer at Energia, the prime contractor for Russia’s human spaceflight program.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins was in the right seat inside the Soyuz crew capsule. Rubins, born in Connecticut and raised in California, was launched on her 42nd birthday to begin her second expedition to the space station after a 115-day mission in 2016. She holds a doctorate in cancer biology, has worked in public health. and studied infectious diseases prior to her selection as a NASA astronaut candidate in 2009.
These photos show the final pre-launch preparations of the Soyuz crew and the takeoff of the mission en route to the space station.
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