NASA Astronaut and Waterbury native Rick Mastracchio arrived at the International Space Station this morning, just six hours after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Mastracchio took the journey with Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. There are now nine crew members aboard the orbiting facility until November 10 when Russian Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, Karen Nyberg of NASA, and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency return home.

CTTechJunkie covered the launch live on our YouTube channel. We were joined by Robert Cizauskas from the Waterbury Police Activity League, who helped connect Waterbury elementary school students to Mastracchio’s mission. Cizauskas called in from a watch party being held in Waterbury to celebrate Mastracchio’s journey.

Mastracchio will return to Earth in May aboard the same spacecraft that brought him to the station.