The Soyuz MS-18 crew launched 60 years after the first manned flight into space

The crew of three departed for the International Space Station on Friday (April 9), launching just three days before the 60th anniversary of the first manned space flight.

Cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Petr Dubrov of the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hey took off aboard the Russian Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft for a three-hour rendezvous with the space station in two orbits. Soyuz departed at 3:42 am ET (07:42 GMT or 12:42 pm local time) from Zone 31/6 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, not far from the place where cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made history by becoming the first a man who flew into space in a spaceship. April 12, 1961

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