A Russian Soyuz rocket with three astronauts on board blasted from the Baikonur space launch station in Kazakhstan and will proceed to the International Space Station. The trio included the first Danish citizen to go to space. The Soyuz rocket was launched from the same launch pad that was used by Yuri Gagarin when he became the first man to go to space in 1961. The launch was also special because it was the 500th launch from the Gagarin Launchpad named in honor of the space pioneer.
The mission control said that the crew was doing well, and everything onboard was in perfect order. The team is led by Veteran cosmonaut Sergei Volkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Aidyn Aimbetov from Kazakhstan along with Andreas Mogensen of European Space Agency. The latter two are first-time flyers to space.
The trio is expected to make the journey to the ISS in two days. The spacecraft will dock with the ISS on Friday. Volkov will stay on the ISS during the reaming two astronauts, Aimbetov and Mogensen will return next week.
Mogensen will become the first Dane to enter space while Aimbetov, who had replaced British Singer Sarah Brightman after she withdrew from the mission in June to become the third Kazakh to go to space.
Mogensen said last month that it was a privilege to represent Denmark as an astronaut. It was the first launch since July 23rd from the Baikonur Cosmodrome when Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and US astronaut Kjell Lindgren along with Kimiya Yu of Japan blasted off into space.
The failure of the Progress freighter had led to Russia putting on hold, all space launches pending a thorough enquiry. The Progress freighter had lost contact with Earth and burned in the atmosphere forcing three astronauts to stay for an extra month on the ISS.