Jason DavisMar 28, 2015

In Pictures: One-Year ISS Mission Begins

Three new Expedition 43 crew members are safely aboard the International Space Station today following an early morning launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Strapped inside their Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka lifted off at 1:42 a.m. local time (3:42 p.m. Friday EDT, 19:42 p.m. UTC). They pulled into port at the station's Poisk module about four hours later.

Kelly and Kornienko will spend a year aboard the ISS, marking the longest-ever mission for the orbiting laboratory. Padalka will be replaced in September by cosmonaut Sergey Volkov. The one-year mission's primary purpose is to learn more about how humans react to long-duration spaceflight.

For more on the mission and its 28 research experiments, check out our preview article.

Moment of solitude
Moment of solitude Astronaut Scott Kelly walks through a row of trees planted by past spacefarers near the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.Image: NASA / Bill Ingalls
Haircut Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko gets a final Earth-bound haircut before departing on his one-year spaceflight.Image: NASA / Bill Ingalls
Blessing A Russian Orthodox Priest blesses a member of the Soyuz recovery forces following a traditional rocket blessing prior to launch.Image: NASA / Bill Ingalls
One-year crew liftoff
One-year crew liftoff A Soyuz rocket and spacecraft carrying Scott Kelly, Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka lifts off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, kicking off a one-year ISS mission for Kelly and Kornienko.Image: NASA / Bill Ingalls
Liftoff of Soyuz TMA-16M
Liftoff of Soyuz TMA-16M A row of spectators and photographers watch the launch of Soyuz TMA-16M, carrying Scott Kelly, Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka to the International Space Station.Image: NASA / Bill Ingalls
Soyuz TMA-16M closes in
Soyuz TMA-16M closes in Soyuz TMA-16M approaches the International Space Station prior to docking.Image: Roscosmos / Anton Shkaplerov
Kelly and Kornienko
Kelly and Kornienko NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko board the International Space Station, kicking off a one-year mission to study how spaceflight affects their bodies.Image: Roscosmos / NASA TV

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