“The launch lasts less than ten minutes whereby the Soyuz spacecraft is propelled 1640 km and gains 210 km altitude. Every second for nine minutes, the spacecraft accelerates 50 km/h on average as the rocket’s boosters burn their fuel and are discarded.
The astronauts, from left to right, are NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Roscosmos commander Sergei Prokopyev, and ESA astronaut and flight engineer Alexander Gerst launched in the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station on 6 June 2018.
Hunched in their Sokol flight suits that offer protection in case of fire or depressurisation, the trio stay in the crew capsule of the Soyuz – the only module that is also designed to survive a return to Earth. The bags above their heads contain supplies for the International Space Station as every bit of space is used.
During a Soyuz launch astronauts typically experience forces of up to 4g – having to work while being pressed into their seats with a force that is four times more than the gravity felt on Earth. The Soyuz commander uses a stick to press buttons as they are too far away ...