The three newest residents of the International Space Station sped into orbit Wednesday aboard a Soyuz launcher after liftoff into an overcast sky over the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Soyuz MS-02 spaceship blasted off from pad 31 at Baikonur at 0805 GMT (4:05 a.m. EDT; 2:05 p.m. Baikonur time) Wednesday. The three-stage Soyuz booster delivered the spacecraft and its three passengers to orbit in less than 10 minutes.
Sergey Ryzhikov, a first-time space traveler and former MiG-29 fighter pilot, was in the center commander’s seat inside the Soyuz capsule. Russian cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko and U.S. astronaut Shane Kimbrough, each flying to the space station for the second time, flanked him on the left and right.
The trio arrived at the space station Friday after a two-day rendezvous, beginning a four-month expedition on the research outpost.
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