The spacecraft left for the space station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:45 am EDT or 11:15 am IST.
The Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov took off at just before 2 AM EDT, and docked with the ISS at 4:48 AM EDT - three hours and two minutes after liftoff. The record was set during an unmanned resupply mission in August 2019.
Since ending the space shuttle program in 2011, NASA has depended on Russian Federation to transport astronauts to the ISS. Just an uncrewed Progress freight space transport has recently utilized this profile which requires only two circles before docking.
The emergence of private players SpaceX and Boeing - part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program - has fuelled talk of a new "space race" between a number of countries.
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Speaking at a pre-launch press conference on Tuesday, Rubins did not directly reference the SpaceX flight when asked how she felt to be on board during a new era in space exploration. "We'll continue to train crews over here and we're going to have cosmonauts come to the Johnson Space Center and train". Severe precautionary measures, including more tight quarantine and cover wearing before launch, have been taken due to the Covid pandemic however the astronauts and space authorities dismissed any worries about a danger of contamination on the ISS.
This is actually the second spaceflight for Ryzhikov, Rubins, and Kud-Sverchkov and also will make them the 241st people to visit this unique microgravity laboratory.
Normally, it would take twice as long for a crew to reach the space station orbiting 250 miles above Earth.