ON 17 December 2017, the second half of the crew for Expedition 54 was launched to space from Baikonur, Kazakhstan at 7:21 UTC (13:21 local) aboard the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft.
The crew consists of Anton Shkaplerov (RSA), Norishige Kanai (JAXA) and Scott D. Tingle (NASA). Shkaplerov will be serving as the commander until docking with the ISS, which will take up to two days. The first half of the crew had previously broken a record in docking, after coming in contact with the ISS only 6 hours after launch.
This will bring the number of inhabitants aboard the ISS to 6 and the total amount of Soyuz FG launches to 62, with an astounding success rate of %100.
Soyuz rockets have been in use since 1967, and have accumulated more than a thousand launches total. They are currently the only rocket which transports astronauts to the ISS and the also the safest rocket available having suffered its last failure in 1983 and its last fatality in 1971.
Because of its renown and longevity as a design, some parts of Soyuz launches have even been given names. One example of this is the Korolev Cross, named after Sergei Korolev, the lead engineer of the Soviet Space Program until his death. It is a pattern the boosters form as they separate from the space craft.
We wish the astronauts a comfortable journey.