A three-man crew from Russia, the United States and Italy climbed inside a Soyuz spacecraft and rocketed into orbit Saturday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on course for the International Space Station.
The Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft lifted off from Baikonur at 1628:20 GMT (12:28:20 p.m. EDT) Saturday with veteran Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov in the commander’s seat, flanked by Italian-born European Space Agency flight engineer Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan.
Liftoff occurred at 9:28 p.m. local time Saturday at Baikonur.
The Soyuz rocket arced toward the northeast with more than 900,000 pounds of thrust from its four strap-on boosters and core stage, all consuming a mixture of kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants. The Soyuz launcher deployed the Soyuz MS-13 crew ferry craft in orbit less than nine minutes after liftoff, setting the stage for a series of rendezvous maneuvers culminating in an automated radar-guided link-up with the space station at 2248 GMT (6:48 p.m. EDT) Saturday.
Read our full story for details on the mission.
The photos below show the Soyuz crew preparing for launch, arriving at the launch pad, and blasting off to begin their mission to the space station.
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