A Mighty Roar
See photos of and by the astronauts of the Expedition 56 mission to the International Space Station, which began in June 2018. This closeup shows the dazzling liftoff of the Soyuz rocket carrying Expedition 56 Soyuz Commander and cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst into space as they launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on June 6, 2018.
Onlookers watch as the Soyuz MS-09 rocket rises into the atmosphere carrying Expedition 56 Soyuz Commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, flight engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, and flight engineer Alexander Gerst of ESA to the International Space Station for a six-month stay.
Capturing Every Angle
At the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad, remote-controlled cameras are set up to capture every angle of the Soyuz MS-09 launch carrying the Expedition 56 crew to the International Space Station on Jun. 6, 2018.
On Wednesday, Jun. 6, 2018, the Soyuz MS-09 rocket launches, carrying the Expedition 56 crew up to the ISS.
Prokopyev, Auñón-Chancellor, and Gerst, the prime crew for Expedition 56, rise from the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad.
The Soyuz MS-09 rocket's engines shine brightly through the smoke and clouds as it rises towards the stars.
A Long, Straight Shot
A long exposure photo shows the direct line the Soyuz MS-09 traveled as the rocket launched, carrying the crew to the ISS for its six-month mission on Expedition 56.
Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev (bottom, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor (center) and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst say farewell to Earth as they prepare to board their Soyuz MS--09 spacecraft for a launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on June 6, 2018. The trio is headed to the International Space Station.
Time Grows Near
The sun rises on Jun. 6, 2018 and launch time for Expedition 56 ticks closer. The crew will spend six months aboard the International Space Station working and living.
At the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad in Kazakhstan, an orthodox priest blesses members of the media ahead of the Expedition 56 launch on Jun. 6, 2018.
A Russian Soyuz rocket lifts off from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on June 6, 2018 carrying NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst on the Expedition 56 mission to the International Space Station.
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Christine Lunsford joined the Space.com team in 2010 as a freelance producer and later became a contributing writer, covering astrophotography images, astronomy photos and amazing space galleries and more. During her more than 10 years with Space.com, oversaw the site's monthly skywatching updates and produced overnight features and stories on the latest space discoveries. She enjoys learning about subjects of all kinds.