Watch a Soyuz Rocket Successfully Launch 3 New Astronauts to the International Space Station

Friday, 08 June 2018 - 6:21PM
Space
NASA
Friday, 08 June 2018 - 6:21PM
Watch a Soyuz Rocket Successfully Launch 3 New Astronauts to the International Space Station
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NASA
Regardless of your vantage point during a rocket launch, it's impossible to see the whole thing. If you're on the ground then you can only see the rocket take off, if you're on the International Space Station then you can only see the payload arrive, and if you're inside the rocket then you have a terrible view of the whole thing.

So it's cool to see a lot of these different viewpoints during a specific launch all put together. Case in point, a recent launch of a Soyuz rocket from Russia's Roscosmos sent three new astronauts to the ISS (Serena Auñón-Chancellor from NASA, Sergey Prokopyev from Roscosmos, and Alexander Gerst from the European Space Agency) to take over for three astronauts who recently returned to Earth.

NASA documented the whole thing, and while you've likely seen rocket launches before, you can see the entire process of the rocket leaving Earth, launching the spacecraft carrying the payload (three astronauts, in this case), and the astronauts finally arriving at the ISS to begin their six-and-a-half month mission. See the initial launch below:





And here's the full footage of the spacecraft docking at the ISS, and the three new astronauts boarding the station to meet the three crew members already onboard. Worth noting are the three veterans dressed in Hawaiian shirts to celebrate the arrival of their new colleagues, and the brief shot of a plush Laika toy that Gerst took along with him:



While that stuffed astronaut dog will join the guitars and other fun stuff onboard, the three new astronauts will take part in much of the scientific research that goes onboard the ISS.

The next launch to the ISS won't be until later this summer, when SpaceX sends a Dragon capsule to the ISS containing various supplies. Currently, only Soyuz rockets are used to transport humans to the ISS - SpaceX founder Elon Musk is hoping that this will change soon, and some tests between NASA and SpaceX for manned Falcon 9 launches will begin this year.

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