American astronaut Christina H. Koch shot an amazing view of the Expedition 61 launch from the International Space Station (ISS).

Koch tweeted: “What it looks like from @Space_Station when your best friend achieves her lifelong dream to go to space. Caught the second stage in progress! We can’t wait to welcome you onboard, the crew of Soyuz 61!”

Expedition 61 launch from the ISS
Expedition 61 launch from the ISS. Photo: Christina H. Koch

Expedition 61

Expedition 61, the next mission to the International Space Station, launched three crew members in a Soyuz MS-15 rocket on September 25 from Kazakhstan.

Heading up to the ISS, the crew includes NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, and Hazzaa Al Mansoori from the United Arab Emirates. Mansoori became the first astronaut from the UAE.

Expedition 61 is the first flight for Meir and Al Mansoori, and the third for Skripochka.

Today’s launch was the Soyuz-FG variant’s 70th and final mission. Of the rocket’s 69 previous missions, 68 have been successful with only one failure – which nobody has been hurt.

With the retirement of the Soyuz-FG rocket, crew launch operations will be taken over by the Soyuz 2.1a variant, featuring digital flight control systems and additional safety improvements and upgrades.

The last Soyuz-FG rocket launched the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, on 25 September 2019, at 13:57 UTC (18:57 local time, 09:57 EDT). The International Space Station Expedition 61 crew members, Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, the first space traveler from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are scheduled to arrive at the ISS after six hours.
Expedition 61 Soyuz Rollout
The gantry arms close around the Soyuz rocket after it was raised into the vertical position on the launch pad, Monday, September 23, 2019, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Expedition 61 crewmembers Jessica Meir of NASA, Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos, and spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates have been launched on Wednesday, September 25 on the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome to the International Space Station. Meir and Skripochka, the newest crewmembers, will continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanity’s only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory. Image: NASA


M. Özgür Nevres

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