The Russian rocket carries us astronaut Anne McClain, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko? and CSA astronaut David Saint Jacques. They should reach the International Space Station by noon.
Three astronauts have successfully blasted off to the International Space Station from Kazakhstan, a ideal launch that follows October's aborted mission.
Gerst shared the photographs on Twitter with a message welcoming his new roommates - NASA's Anne McClain, Roscosmos's Oleg Kononenko and the Canadian Space Agency's David Saint-Jacques, all members of Expedition 58 - to space.
If for some reason Russian Federation couldn't have resumed crewed flights on a timely basis, the space station's managers would have faced a hard choice over whether to leave the space station unoccupied for a time.
There, they'll meet the European Space Agency's Alexander Gerst, NASA's Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Roscosmos' Sergey Prokopyev, the current crew of the ISS who'll use the Soyuz to return to Earth on December 20.
Speaking at a news conference on Sunday, the astronauts addressed concerns about the safety of the Russian-made rocket en route to the ISS, so closely on the heels of the previous rocket's emergency landing.
The evening before the launch, crew commander Oleg Kononenko said the astronauts "absolutely" had trust in the flight preparations.
RFE also quoted McClain, 39, saying: "We feel very ready for it".
Less than two minutes into that flight, one of the rocket's four external boosters failed to separate and accidentally struck the core stage of the rocket, sending it spinning out of control. The pair landed safely about 12 miles east of the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. They were picked up by helicopters and then flown by a plane back to Baikonur.
Afterward, investigators said they believed other Soyuz models may have been defective, but said additional checks had been introduced.
A Russian Soyuz rocket sent three spacefliers to the International Space Station today, marking a return to normal operations after a hardware problem spoiled a similar flight in October.
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