The International Space Station Expedition 56/57 crew have successfully launched aboard a Russian Soyuz-FG rocket. The trio are expected to join the crew of Expedition 55/56 aboard the station on Friday/
The Soyuz- FG rocket lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:12 GMT this morning. NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor Alexander Gerst of the ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos will join the rest of the Expedition 56 crew currently aboard the station. The Soyuz MS-09 is expected to dock with the ISS at 13:07 GMT Friday on June 8.
The Soyuz rocket and spacecraft combination remains the only way for ISS crew to get to the station. Although both SpaceX and Boeing are working on American-made alternatives through NASA’s commercial crew programme, it is likely it could be well over a year before either spacecraft begins ferrying crew to the station.
Featured image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky