The launch took place at 10:42 a.m., local time, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and is expected to arrive at the ISS at 2:07 p.m., local time, RIA Novosti news agency reported.
The tribute to the 60th anniversary of the flight of the first cosmonaut includes the name of Gagarin decorating the fairing of the rocket and his image on the exterior of the capsule’s thermal insulation, along with his signature and the inscription ’60th Anniversary of the First Human Flight into Space, 1961-2021.’
The cosmonauts were asked how they would celebrate the anniversary during a press conference before departure. ‘We will celebrate it together,’ Dubrov replied.
On board the ISS are the Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, the astronauts from the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Kathleen Rubins, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi, from Japan.