This Astronaut Photo of Her Friend's Launch Into Space Is Absolutely Stunning!

An image taken from the International Space Station of a crewed Soyuz capsule launching to visit the facility on Sept. 25, 2019. (Image credit: Christina Koch/NASA)

The best view of today's crew launch turned out to be from the spacecraft's destination itself, the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and United Arab Emirates spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan today (Sept. 25) at 9:57 a.m. EDT (1457 GMT or 6:57 p.m. local time). They were bound to join a crew of six currently living and working on board the International Space Station, including Meir's astronaut training classmate, Christina Koch.

"What it looks like from @Space_Station when your best friend achieves her lifelong dream to go to space," Koch wrote in a tweet sharing the image yesterday (on Sept. 25). "Caught the second stage in progress! We can’t wait to welcome you onboard, crew of Soyuz 61!"

Related: First UAE Astronaut Lifts Off with US-Russian Space Station Crew

Meir and Skripochka will remain on board the space station until February; their travel companion Almansoori returns to Earth in just a week, as he is a spaceflight participation. Koch will be heading home with Meir and Skripochka, completing the longest single spaceflight by a woman. She arrived in orbit on March 14.

Before becoming an astronaut, Meir trained as a biologist, and she her research has included raising a flock of geese. She has already completed a stint with NASA's underwater research program.

Email Meghan Bartels at or follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

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Meghan Bartels
Senior Writer

Meghan is a senior writer at and has more than five years' experience as a science journalist based in New York City. She joined 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.