ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, commander Sergei Volkov and Aidyn Aimbetov were launched into space this morning 2 September at 04:37:43 GMT (06:37:43 CEST) from Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.
The launch marks the start of ESA’s 10-day ‘iriss’ mission that will focus on testing new technologies and ways of running complex space missions.
The astronaut’s Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft was pushed into Earth orbit as planned accelerating 50 km/h on every second for the first nine minutes of their launch.
The spacecraft separated from the Soyuz launcher at 04:46:31 GMT (06:37:43 CEST) and the trio are now circling Earth at 28 800 km/h. They will spend the next three days, or 36 orbits of our planet, catching up with the International Space Station.
Their docking is planned on 4 September at 07:42 GMT (09:42 CEST) but they will not enter their new home until the astronauts on both sides of the spacecraft hatch ensure there are no leaks.