A Russian Soyuz rocket today launched three new crewmembers toward the International Space Station.
NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst of Germany, and Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev departed the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:57 PM Eastern time on May 28 on the Russian spacecraft. They are scheduled to dock to the orbiting ISS at 9:48 PM Eastern.
More at Spaceflight Now, including video.
"NASA's recent purchase of six more round-trip seats on Russian Soyuz spacecraft, a deal worth $458 million, could be the last time the space agency sends a check abroad to ferry U.S. astronauts to and from International Space Station as rampant Russian inflation pushes the price of crew transportation higher," reports Spaceflight Now's Stephen Clark.
Here are some cool photos of launchpad preparation.