A camera mounted outside the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft provided live views of the rocket's ascent into orbit, and it showed the Soyuz launcher's third stage jettisoning from the capsule, venting gas to steer clear of the crew's spaceship.
Rather than dismantling the space station, the memo said, the plan was to "expand global and commercial partnerships over the next seven years in order to ensure continued human access to and presence in low Earth orbit".
A Russian spacecraft carrying Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA, Sergey Prokopyev of Russian space agency Roscosmos and the ESA's Alexander Gerst, from Germany, lifted off as scheduled from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz booster rocket at 16:12 (local time) on Wednesday.
The NASA live stream comes days after the USA space agency broadcasted the return of Expedition 55 Commander Anton Shkaplerov, flight engineer Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency touching back on Earth. The Russian Soyuz MS-09 ship is set to reach the ISS on Friday. The three astronauts will be greeted by their fellow Expedition 56 crewmates: NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev.
The three astronauts returned safely to Earth on June 3 in a parachute-assisted landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan.
They will spend six months aboard the station, joining the three-man crew that's already aboard.
The impressive orbital research station has been in continuous usage by various crews on rotation since November 2000.