Russia Launches Fresh Crew To ISS On Fast-track Journey

Two cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut blasted off on a fast-track journey to the International Space Station Wednesday, in the first such launch aboard a Russian capsule since SpaceX’s game-changing debut manned flight from US soil.

Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos and NASA’s Kathleen Rubins launched from the Russian-operated Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0545 GMT on Wednesday.

A NASA TV commentator said everything was normal, citing communications between Russian mission control and the crew, while Roscosmos said the capsule had successfully gone into orbit.

The International Space Station crew of NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov The International Space Station crew of NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov Photo: Russian Space Agency Roscosmos / Handout

Their journey will be the first manned flight to the ISS to last just over three hours before docking — a new fast-track profile that takes half the time of standard trips to the orbital lab.

Only an

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