April 19 (UPI) -- A rare two-man crew lifted off aboard the Soyuz MS-04 spaceship to travel to the International Space Station early Thursday morning. The capsule was carried on a Russian Soyuz rocket, that launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Most crewed launches feature three astronauts. Thursday's launch was the first in several years to feature only two. The Soyuz capsule is carrying NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin to the space station, where they will join the rest of Expedition 51.
NASA's Peggy Whitson, the expedition's commander, as well as Russia's Oleg Novitskiy and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, are already onboard.
Thursday's space flight was Fischer's first. Yurchikhin has taken four previous spaceflights. Both will spend four months aboard the space station and return to Earth in September.