Astronauts share beautiful images of Soyuz launch taken from space

Cristoforetti shared two images on Twitter with the caption, “We had a spectacular view of the Soyuz launch! Sergey, Dmitry and Frank will come knocking on our door in just a couple of hours… looking forward to welcoming them to their new home.”Hines shared four images with the caption “Ever wonder what a [rocket] launch looks like from space? It’s amazing!! NASA astronaut Frank Rubio launched on a Soyuz just a few hours ago…now he’s at the front door of the space station awaiting hatch opening! Welcome aboard, Frank!”

American astronaut Frank Rubio and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin were the two passengers on the Soyuz spacecraft. Rubio flew up on Soyuz under a new crew swap agreement between the United States and Russia. This agreement was signed in July despite tensions between both countries over Russia’s siege of Ukraine. Under the barter agreement, Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina will fly on a SpaceX rocket to the space station as part of the Crew-5 mission.

Until SpaceX started flying station crew from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2020, NASA astronauts used to routinely launch on the Russian Soyuz rockets. According to the AP, the last time a Russian launched from Florida was over 30 years ago. Kikina will change that when she will fly to the space station as early as October 3, along with one Japanese and two American astronauts.

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