Space? It’s Just a Commute

Crew reaches International Space Station within six hours of launch from Kazakhstan

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Dmitry Lovetskys / AP

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-10M space ship blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

It took just under six hours for Soyuz TMA-10M to reach the International Space Station on Thursday, making it the third time a manned vehicle has completed the journey in under 24 hours.

Before March, the trip usually took two days, which is long enough for the crew inside the ship’s cramped interior to become uncomfortable and make space sickness symptoms worse (and just in case you weren’t sure, barfing in space is somewhat more complicated than on earth).

The spacecraft left Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome just before 3 a.m. local time, carrying a crew of three: Russia’s Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryanzanskiy, and NASA’s Michael Hopkins.  The American and two Russians, who were welcomed aboard the station shortly before 9 a.m., are scheduled to stay in the orbital laboratory for about 5 months.