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. And welcome to space, @Astro_DavidS, @AstroAnnimal and Oleg! #Exp57 #Exp58 #Horizons pic.twitter.com/rzEjtm2PcO
— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) December 3, 2018
"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.
Our friends, on the way here. The essence of space flight, in a timelapse showing the #SoyuzMS11 launch. I still can’t comprehend that there are humans riding on the top of this lone white streak into the great black open. Hi-Res: https://t.co/mTyG2RCRDa pic.twitter.com/Cl6vsgzqT4
— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) December 5, 2018
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.