Soyuz

A Soyuz rocket blasts off from the European space centre at Kourou, French Guiana. Europe was set to launch the next two satellites today for its multi-billion-euro Galileo satnav system, a rival to America's GPS, according to space firm Arianespace.

Jody Amiet/AFP

A Soyuz rocket blasts off from the European space centre at Kourou, French Guyana

A Russian Orthodox priest blesses the media and well-wishers

Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

© A Russian Orthodox priest blesses the media and well-wishers after a service at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to bless the Soyuz FG rocket which will carry British astronaut Tim Peake to the International Space Station tomorrow. Picture date: Monday December 14 2015. See PA story SCIENCE Peake. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

International Space Station expedition 46/47

Sergie Chirikov/EPA

British ESA astronaut Timothy Peake, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and US NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra prepare to get into Soyuz space craft simulator prior to pass final exams in the Russian cosmonaut training center in Star City outside Moscow, Russia, on Friday

Russia's Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of Kazakhstan's cosmonaut Aydyn Aimbetov, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and Denmark's astronaut Andreas Mogensen from the European Space Agency blasts off from the launch pad at Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome on September 2, 2015.

Krill Kudryavtsev/AFP

Russia’s Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of Kazakhstan’s cosmonaut Aydyn Aimbetov, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and Denmark’s astronaut Andreas Mogensen from the European Space Agency blasts off from the launch pad at Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome on Wednesday

The Soyuz blast off from Baikonur cosmodrome

Yuri Kochetkov/EPA

The Soyuz TMA-17M rocket blasts off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, on Thursday, carrying members of the expedition 44/45 NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko to the International Space Station (ISS).

Ground personnel help International Space Station (ISS) rew member Anton Shkaplerov of Russia out of the Soyuz TMA-15M shortly after landing near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, June 11, 2015. Three astronauts landed safely in the steppes of Kazakhstan on Thursday, ending their 199-day mission after an unexpected "bonus month" aboard the International Space Station, NASA Television showed

Bill Ingalls/NASA/Reuters

Ground personnel help International Space Station (ISS) crew member Anton Shkaplerov of Russia out of the Soyuz TMA-15M shortly after landing near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday

Ground personnel work on November 10, 20...Ground personnel work on November 10, 2014 next to the Soyuz TMA-13M capsule, carrying International Space Station (ISS) crew members of Alexander Gerst of Germany, Maxim Surayev of Russia and Reid Wiseman of the United States, after its landing near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan. A veteran Russian cosmonaut and two International Space Station crewmates, one from the United States and one from Germany, returned safely to Earth on November 10 with a parachute landing of their Soyuz capsule in Kazakhstan, ending 5,5 months in orbit.    AFP PHOTO / POOL / SHAMIL ZHUMATOVSHAMIL ZHUMATOV/AFP/Getty Images

Shamil Zhumatov/AFP/Getty

Ground personnel work on the Soyuz TMA-13M capsule, carrying International Space Station crew members Alexander Gerst of Germany, Maxim Surayev of Russia and Reid Wiseman of the US, after its landing near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan. 

Russian cosmonaut Artemyev looks out of the Soyuz capsule shortly after landing southeast of Dzhezkazgan

Maxim Shipenkov/Reuters

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev looks out of the Russian Soyuz TMA-12M space capsule shortly after landing southeast of Dzhezkazgan on Thursday.

Soyuz TMA-11M rocket is launched with Expedition 38 Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos, Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA and Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency onboard, November 7, 2013 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Tyurin, Mastracchio, and, Wakata will spend the next six months aboard the International Space Station.

Bill Ingalls/NASA/AFP

The Soyuz TMA-11M rocket is launched on Thursday at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Expedition 38 Soyuz commander Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos, flight engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA and flight engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are on board.

Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft, moved for installation at a launch pad at a cosmodrome in Baikonur

Sergei Chirikov/EPA

Spectators watch the Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft at its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on Tuesday. The crew members of the spacecraft, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, Nasa’s Richard Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata of Japan, are set to take off from the Russian-leased facility on November 7.

NASA astronaut Cassidy, and Russian cosmonauts Commander Vinogradov and Misurkin sit after they landed near the town of Zhezkazgan

Bill Ingalls/Nasa

Nasa astronaut Chris Cassidy, left, and Russian cosmonauts Commander Pavel Vinogradov, centre, and Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin sit in chairs outside the Soyuz TMA-08M capsule just minutes after they landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Tuesday. The three returned to Earth after five and a half months on the International Space Station.

Expedition 35 Landing

Mikhail Metzel/EPA

The Russian Soyuz space capsule lands 150kms southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan, on Tuesday. The Soyuz capsule landed safely, carrying Chris Hadfield, a Canadian commander, Tom Marshburn a US flight engineer, and Roman Romanenko of Russia, after five months in orbit aboard the International Space Station.