Liftoff! Spectacular Launch Photos for Space Station Crew

Expedition 31 Soyuz Launch

NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Soyuz TMA-04M rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday.

Photographers at the Expedition 31 Soyuz Launch

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Members of the media photograph the Soyuz TMA-04M rocket launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, May 15, 2012.

Expedition 31 Soyuz Launch

NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Soyuz TMA-04M rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 carrying Expedition 31 Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka, NASA Flight Engineer Joseph Acaba and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin to the International Space Station.

Expedition 31 Soyuz Launch

NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Soyuz TMA-04M rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 carrying Expedition 31 Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka, NASA Flight Engineer Joseph Acaba and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin to the International Space Station.

Soyuz Launches Space Station Crew on May 14, 2012

NASA TV

A Soyuz rocket carrying NASA astronaut Joe Acaba and cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin blasts off from Kazakstan on May 14, 2012 (May 15 local time).

Expedition 31 Crew Readies for Launch

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Expedition 31 Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka (bottom), NASA flight engineer Joe Acaba and flight engineer Sergei Revin (top) wave farewell from the base of their Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan shortly before launching toward the space station on May 14, 2012 (May 15 local time).

Expedition 31 Rocket Seen Through Camera Viewfinder

NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Soyuz rocket is seen in the monitor of a video camera moments before Expedition 31 Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka, NASA Flight Engineer Joseph Acaba and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin arrive to board the rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Tuesday, May 15, 2012. The launch of the Soyuz spacecraft with Padalka, Revin, and Acaba is scheduled for 9:01 a.m. local time on Tuesday, May 15.

Expedition 31, Base of the Soyuz Rocket

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Workers at the base of the Soyuz rocket wait for the arrival of Expedition 31 Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka, NASA Flight Engineer Joseph Acaba and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Tuesday, May 15, 2012. The launch of the Soyuz spacecraft with Padalka, Revin, and Acaba is scheduled for 9:01 a.m. local time on Tuesday, May 15.

Expedition 31 Blessing

NASA/Bill Ingalls

An Orthodox priest talks to members of the press just after having blessed the Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome Launch pad on Monday, May 14, 2012 in Kazakhstan. The launch of the Soyuz spacecraft with Expedition 31 Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin of Russia, and prime NASA Flight Engineer Joe Acaba is scheduled for 9:01 a.m. local time on Tuesday, May 15.

Expedition 31 Blessing

NASA/Bill Ingalls

An Orthodox priest blesses members of the media shortly after blessing the Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome Launch pad on Monday, May 14, 2012 in Kazakhstan. The launch of the Soyuz spacecraft with Expedition 31 Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin of Russia, and prime NASA Flight Engineer Joe Acaba is scheduled for 9:01 a.m. local time on Tuesday, May 15.

The Blessing of the Media

NASA/Bill Ingalls

An Orthodox priest blesses members of the media shortly after blessing the Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome Launch pad on Monday, May 14, 2012 in Kazakhstan. The launch of the Soyuz spacecraft with Expedition 31 Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin of Russia, and prime NASA Flight Engineer Joe Acaba is scheduled for 9:01 a.m. local time on Tuesday, May 15.

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