The Russian spacecraft Soyuz, carrying three astronauts- a Russian, Dane and Kazakh blasted-off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, becoming the 500th manned launch in space travel history.
- Veteran Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov of Roscosmos (Russian space agency) is leading a team. The other two astronauts are first-time flyers Aidyn Aimbetov from Kazakhstan (Kazcosmos) and Andreas Mogensen from Denmark (European Space Agency).
- While Mogensen and Aimbetov will serve short-duration stints, returning to Earth on Sept. 12, Volkov will stay on the station for six months.
- He will be joining American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko in the second half of their yearlong mission, the longest mission ever completed aboard the International Space Station.
This launch complex in Kazakhstan has a special place in history as Earth’s first artificial satellite; Sputnik-1 was launched by Russia from here on October 4, 1957. It lifted Yuri Gagarin, the first human in orbit.
It is a Russian spacecraft that is launched on a Soyuz rocket- the most frequently used and most reliable launch vehicle in the world to date. All Soyuz spacecraft are launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.