BAIKONUR (Kazakhstan), June 6. /TASS/. A Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with a manned Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft has blasted off from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station (ISS), TASS reports from the scene.
The carrier rocket with the manned spacecraft lifted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome at 2:12 p.m. Moscow time.
The manned spacecraft is carrying Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev (the Soyuz MS-09’s commander), NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor and representative of the European Space Agency (ESA) Alexander Gerst.
The spacecraft’s launch was watched by Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos Head Dmitry Rogozin, ESA Director-General Johann-Dietrich Woerner, US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman and the world’s first woman-cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova.
The manned spacecraft has entered the near-Earth orbit and started its autonomous flight to the orbital outpost, Roscosmos told TASS.
"The spacecraft separated from the third stage of the Soyuz-FG carrier rocket in the normal regime at the designated time," Roscosmos said.
The manned Soyuz spacecraft will be performing its autonomous flight using a two-day scheme. The spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the ISS at 2:21 p.m. Moscow time on June 8.
The new space expedition’s crew will stay for 187 days aboard the orbital output. Over this period, the crewmembers will be working with the Progress MS and US Dragon resupply ships, performing a program of applied researches and experiments and carrying out spacewalks (specifically, work outside the space station under the Russian program is scheduled for August 8).