Three space fliers rocketed away from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, setting off in pursuit of the International Space Station to swap out Soyuz lifeboats for the research lab’s one-year crew.
The launch occurred at 0437 GMT (12:37 a.m. EDT; 10:37 a.m. Baikonur time).
Veteran cosmonaut Sergey Volkov sat in the center couch of the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft, joined by European Space Agency flight engineer Andreas Mogensen and Kazakh fighter pilot turned cosmonaut Aidyn Aimbetov.
These photos show the crew preparing for launch, including a traditional blessing, goodbyes to family and friends, and boarding the Soyuz spacecraft before liftoff.
Read our full story.
Email the author.
Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.