The European Space Agency has launched a Soyuz spacecraft with three astronauts bound for the International Space Station. Germany's Alexander "Astro Alex" Gerst is on board.
With a final tweet just before climbing into the Soyuz spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Alexander Gerst bid farewell to Earth before a six-month deployment on the International Space Station.
Gerst, the third German to be stationed on the ISS, was joined in the spaceship with NASA's Reid Wiseman and Russia's Maxim Suraev.
The crew is expected to dock with the ISS early on Thursday morning.
Live coverage of the docking and opening of the hatch can be found on theESA's website
mz/jr (dpa, AFP)