Not many of us will get a chance to see a rocket launch live from this angle in our lifetimes, but at least we can see the photos.
European astronaut Alexander Gerst managed to photograph the launch of three new crewmembers to the International Space Station from his post aboard the orbiting laboratory.
The pictures, taken Monday, show the Soyuz rocket carrying the three new space station residents as it ascends to orbit just after launch.
“Congratulations to the Russian Space Agency @roscosmos and all international partners for a flawless launch of #SoyuzMS11,” Gerst said in a tweet sharing the photos. “And welcome to space, @Astro_DavidS, @AstroAnnimal, and Oleg!”
This is the first time a crew has launched to the space station since a failed Soyuz launch in October led to an abort that brought both crewmembers (safely) back to Earth not long after launch.
That was the first crewed Soyuz failure in decades. The Monday launch marks the Soyuz’s return to form.
The new crew includes NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenkoof. They’ll stay aboard the space station for about 6.5 months performing science and learning how to live in space.
And who knows, maybe they’ll also get to spot a rocket launch from space during their time in orbit.