U.S.-Russian crew launches aboard Soyuz capsule en route to the - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U.S.-Russian crew launches aboard Soyuz capsule en route to the International Space Station

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A U.S.-Russian space crew has blasted off successfully for the International Space Station.

The Russian Soyuz-TMA14M spacecraft lifted off as scheduled at 2:25 a.m. Friday (2025 GMT Thursday, 4:25 p.m. EDT) from the Russian-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan. It was carrying NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore along with Russians Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova for a six-month stint at the station.

The Soyuz was set to dock at the orbiting outpost in about six hours after the launch, joining an international crew of three currently manning the station.

Serova is the first Russian woman to fly to space since 1997, and the fourth woman in the history of the Soviet and Russian space programs. Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space in 1963.

Earlier this month, Wilmore told WDRB News that he planned on taking a lot of pictures during his expected six-month stay aboard the station.

"I'm gonna zoom in, actually, on your house," he said, laughing. "No, I'll be taking pictures constantly. There's a way that we can know where we'll be over a certain part of the earth…at a certain time. So I can actually set up a camera and point straight down, and then as we go overhead, I'll set the timer up and it will take as many pictures as it can take as we pass over. And I'll do that for several different places, including Louisville, Kentucky."

Serova wanted to give a special message to the children of the world when she spoke with us in July.

"I'd like to say that all children -- all kids -- are little geniuses, and if they can hear me now, I'd say that to them over and over again," she said. "This group of kids that we have now on the ground will, in the future, become our future researchers, scientists, doctors and explorers and whatnot, and what they need to do is believe in themselves -- and have a motto to be as follows: You can do everything."

For his part, Wilmore said he looked to a Higher Power when it came to preparing for this day, citing his Christian faith as a source of strength as he embarks on this mission.

"It plays a part not just in this trip, but in all of my life," he said. "What we believe about what the Bible teaches – that's important to me, it's important to my family, it's important to my church. That is wrapped around every aspect of my life, not just this. So it plays a vital role in everything that I do, my family does, and those that we know and love."

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