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These Astronaut Photos of a Soyuz Launch from Space Are Just Incredible!

The International Space Station offers an unbelievably cool perspective on rocket launches, as European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst proved with three incredible photographs of a crewed Soyuz rocket that lifted off today (Dec. 3).

Gerst shared the photographs on Twitter with a message welcoming his new roommates — NASA's Anne McClain, Roscosmos's Oleg Kononenko and the Canadian Space Agency's David Saint-Jacques, all members of Expedition 58 — to space. You can see more awesome launch photos in our full gallery.

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European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst captured this incredible image during a crewed Soyuz launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Dec. 3, 2018. (Image credit: A. Gerst/ESA)

The launch, which took place from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as the sun was setting, was the first crewed launch since an anomaly during booster separation sent two astronauts falling back to Earth in an emergency landing on Oct. 11.

But today, everything went precisely according to plan, with an on-schedule and anomaly-free liftoff at 6:31 a.m. EST (1131 GMT). Blastoff kicked off a 6-hour-, four-orbit-long journey to the space station for the trio of astronauts on board.

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst captured this incredible image during a crewed Soyuz launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Dec. 3, 2018. (Image credit: ESA/A. Gerst)

Once they reach the orbiting laboratory, they'll face a busy schedule that includes welcoming a cargo shipment this week, conducting a spacewalk next week, and saying farewell to the three astronauts who have been living in space since June.

That includes Gerst, as well as his colleagues U.S. astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, who will head back to Earth on Dec. 19. We'll miss Gerst's incredible photography skills.

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us @Spacedotcom and Facebook. Original article on Space.com.

Meghan Bartels
SPACE.COM SENIOR WRITER — Meghan is a science journalist based in New York City. She joined Space.com in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.

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