|Last Night's 23:01 EDT Launch|
Last night's 23:01 EDT liftoff was the first time that I watched a live launch of a Soyuz rocket. Since it doesn't have solid rocket boosters, like the space shuttle, it burns very clean like the old Saturn V rockets.
|Astronauts Shane Kimbourgh (L) and Joe Acaba (R)|
What makes this launch system so elegant is that it inherently works - you don't have to rely on electrical or hydraulic systems for the supporting towers to move away at launch.
The video of the ride to orbit looked very smooth inside the capsule. The only downside that I could see is that it's cramped. I hear that the return landing is very bumpy for the crew since the capsule lands on the ground, not in the ocean, like the Apollo capsules, or on a landing strip like the space shuttle.