Three astronauts on their way to the International Space Station (ISS)

missile launch

Launch vehicle with the Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonauts Artemyev, Matveyev and Korsakov to the International Space Station. Photo: – / Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service / AP / dpa

(Photo: dpa)

The Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft carrying cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov took off from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This was shown by live images from the Roscosmos space agency.

The missile was seen soaring into the night sky over Central Asia. Radio messages from the ground station came “everything is normal on board”. The crew is fine. The quick trip to the outpost of humanity was supposed to take three hours. On the International Space Station, he meets two other Russian cosmonauts and four Americans. Germany’s Matthias Maurer celebrates his 52nd birthday there on Friday.

Sanctions imposed on Moscow for attacking Ukraine have also severely affected space cooperation between the United States and Russia. So Roscosmos left the future of the International Space Station open recently after the contract expired in 2024. NASA is aiming for a period until 2030.

In the past, unlike this time, an American astronaut or ESA astronaut typically flew with Soyuz launches. NASA has been using American spacecraft to the International Space Station again for some time.

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The Soyuz missiles launched on Friday are named after Soviet missile designer Sergei Korolev, born in Zhytomyr in 1907. The city is now in Ukraine.

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