NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin arrived safely at the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, following a journey from Earth that took just over three hours.
The trio blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and the position of the ISS at the time of launch gave the station’s crew a clear view as the Soyuz rocket made its way to space.
ISS crew members Bob Hines and Samantha Cristoforetti even managed to capture some shots of the rocket as it blasted skyward.
“Ever wonder what a launch looks like from space? It’s amazing!!” American astronaut Hines tweeted alongside a number of images showing the astronauts on their way to the orbiting laboratory. Hines added: “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!”
Ever wonder what a 🚀 launch looks like from space? It’s amazing!! @NASA_Astronauts and fellow 🐢, Frank Rubio launched on a Soyuz just a few hours ago…now he’s at the front door of @Space_Station awaiting hatch opening! Welcome aboard, Frank! pic.twitter.com/YcPpXsWsnk
— Bob “Farmer” Hines (@Astro_FarmerBob) September 21, 2022
Cristoforetti also shared some images showing the early stages of the mission. “We had a spectacular view of the Soyuz launch!” the Italian astronaut tweeted. “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!”
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! #MissionMinerva pic.twitter.com/b6PP8L6AEl
— Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) September 21, 2022
The images show the Soyuz engines’ exhaust trail as the rocket roared toward space with a beautiful orbital sunrise as the backdrop. Other pictures show the spacecraft in the blackness of space and as it reaches the ISS.
Here’s the same launch as seen from the ground:
Rubio is on his very first trip to space and, together with Prokopyev and Petelin, joins seven others on the orbital outpost. For the next six months, the trio will work on a slew of science experiments and perhaps take part in several spacewalks.