A Soyuz rocket carrying three crew members to the International Space Station (ISS) has blasted off from Baikonur in Kazakhstan. Then, on the morning of June 8, at 9:07 a.m. EDT, it will arrive at the space station's Rassvet module. NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Sergey Prokopyev of Russian space agency Roscosmos - are now safely in orbit, NASA said in a blog post.
Prokopyev, 43, will serve as the crew's flight commander for the two-day journey to the orbital lab despite having never flown into space before.
Their stay on the space station is scheduled for 187 days.
NASA's new boss says major changes could be ahead for the International Space Station but there will always be an American astronaut in orbit.
The American that went up in this mission is at her first flight to outer space.
NASA did not explain the change.
In February this year, Elon Musk successfully launched his new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Got a great farewell from our friends and families. Looking at unimpressed camels on the side of the road.
"We're in a position now where there are people out there that can do commercial management of the International Space Station", said Bridenstine. Belgian Frank De Winne took charge of the station during a mission in 2009.
Rosicky's head Dmitry Rogozin said after the launch that "the crew of the spacecraft feels good".
The 58% of USA adults who say they wouldn't want to orbit the Earth aboard a spacecraft believe that such a trip would be either "too expensive" (28% of those asked) or "too scary" (28%), or that their age or health wouldn't allow it (28%).
Experts say the ISS's worldwide character and reliance on global collaborations - along with USA government involvement - could complicate United States plans to privatize it.
Space research has been one of the few areas of worldwide cooperation between Russian Federation and the West that has not been wrecked by the Ukraine crisis.