Simulated Mission to the ISS: 2. Launch

Technicians in clean suits help you don your Sokol flight suit. Although the Soyuz spacecraft is filled with air, the astronauts still wear these pressure suits during launch just in case the spacecraft leaks air in an emergency. In this photo, Anne McClain prepares for the launch of Expedition 58 in December 2018. Credit: GCTC/NASA/Andrey Shelepin
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield explains the Sokol suit.
When you are all suited up except for your gloves and helmet, you can talk to your family and the press — but only behind glass! You must stay in the clean room to minimize exposure to dust and germs. This photos shows Alexey Ovchinin, part of the Expedition 47 crew, in March 2016.
You pause for a photo op before boarding the elevator that will take up up to the Soyuz capsule sitting atop a huge rocket. This photo from 2016 shows Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi (JAXA), Kate Rubins (NASA), and Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin (Roscosmos). Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
It is a tight squeeze to fit in the Soyuz capsule! Unlike the suits used for spacewalks, the Sokol suits have specially designed legs that can bend tightly at the knees. Left to right: Alexander Gerst, Maksim Surayev, and Greg Wiseman of Expedition 40/41. Credit: NASA/ESA
NASA Mission Control in Houston watches the countdown, but does not control the Soyuz launch. Credit: NASA/Lauren Harnett
Roscosmos Mission Control in Korolev, Russia, directs the Soyuz launch. After you and your crewmates strap in and complete all the checklists, you are GO FOR LAUNCH!
This video shows the Soyuz rocket launch in December 2018. Credit: NASA
Liftoff! In just 8 1/2 minutes, you accelerate to 17,500 miles per hour and reach the same orbit as the space station! But it will take several more hours for you to catch up with the station, match its speed perfectly, and line up with the docking port. Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani
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