The launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan occurred at 1:45 am ET on Wednesday.
The trio’s Soyuz capsule docked with the space station at 4:48 a.m. ET. An “ultrafast” rendezvous system helped deliver the crew to the station after just two orbits around the Earth “for the first time in history,” according to Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency.
The hatch between the space station and the capsule will open at 6:45 a.m. ET, allowing them to enter the station.
This is the second spaceflight for Rubins and Ryzhikov and the first for Kud-Sverchkov, and they will spend six months on the space station.
Along for the ride is Yuri, a little cosmonaut knitted by Kud-Sverchkov’s wife Olga. He serves as the crew’s zero gravity indicator. Essentially, once he begins to float, the crew will know they’ve reached space. Each crew gets to pick their own indicator, according to NASA.