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(CNN) - The sinuous smoke rises above the Earth's atmosphere, while a bright star, actually a Russian Soyuz rocket, rises against the dark night sky, surrounded by a ring.
This is the amazing image that NASA astronaut Christina Koch took on Wednesday from her privileged position on the International Space Station (ISS).
What it looks like from @Space_Station when your best friend achieves her lifelong dream to go to space. Caught the second stage in progress! We can't wait to welcome you onboard, crew of Soyuz 61! pic.twitter.com/Ws7tInY58P
- Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) September 25, 2019
On board the spacecraft bound for the ISS Soyuz MS-15 (Expedition 61), which was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, was her best friend, NASA flight engineer Jessica Meir. Traveling with Meir iban Oleg Skripochka, of the Roscosmos (Russian space agency), and Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, the first astronaut of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to go to space.
3-2-1 ... LIFTOFF! 🚀 At 9:57 am ET, @Astro_Jessica 🇺🇸, cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka 🇷🇺 & spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori 🇦🇪 launched on a journey to their new home aboard the @Space_Station. Tune in: https://t.co/x0oE4sFcsu pic.twitter.com/ETKVudGbNe
- NASA (@NASA) September 25, 2019
As Koch explained in his tweet, the incredible photo shows the trajectory of the second stage in progress, while undulating smoke is a remnant of takeoff.
Images of people on the ground in Kazakhstan also show the strange way the rocket's path took while heading for the ISS.
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Кто чем занят, а мы наблюдаем запуск СОЮЗа с Байконура !!! Зрелище впечатляющие!
A post shared by Алексей Долгушев (@ dolgushev2) on Sep 25, 2019 at 7:10 am PDT
Koch, who is not new to taking excellent photographs of space, decreased exposure on his camera to capture the peculiar visual effect. This is also the reason why there are no visible stars, as others noted in the comments.
For people who want to see where are the starts in this picture, I increased the exposure of the above image for you: pic.twitter.com/R4kRPFbKFc
- Danail Kozhuharov (@ DanailKozhuhar1) September 25, 2019
Soyuz correctly landed at the International Space Station at 3:42 p.m. EDT the same day of launch.
During their expedition, Meir and other crew members will install new lithium-ion batteries for two of the station's solar energy channels through a series of spacewalks, according to NASA.
Almansoori will spend only eight days in the ISS before returning to Earth. The launch marked the last time the Gagarin Platform - which was used in the launch in which Yuri Gagarin took off on April 12, 1961, to become the first human to fly into space ... is used before an update.
International Space Station