Last update: June 17th, 2019 at 11:00 am
Todays’ Image of the Day is from the European Space Agency (ESA) and shows the official beginning of the Horizons space mission, as the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft successfully lifts off in Kazakhstan.
This will be German astronaut Alexander Gerst’s second time in space, and he is joined by two other astronauts. According to the ESA, the team will ultimately spend three months at the International Space Station after cruising around the Earth 34 times to catch up with it.
The Soyuz rocket is over 150,000 feet tall and cruises at a speed of over 178,000 miles per hour. In the second half of the mission, Gerst will be taking over as commander of the International Space Station, which is only the second time that an ESA astronaut has filled this role.
Image Credit: European Space Agency