Dr. Kjell Lindgren, who was a medical resident at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, was one of three astronauts who docked at the International Space Station (ISS) Wednesday.
Lindgren invited his former teacher Dr. Douglas Brunette, senior medical director of emergency and trauma service at HCMC, to see the launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Brunette has been posting his observations of the launch on the HCMC's website.
"Launch was absolutely beautiful," Brunette wrote in his latest post. "Not a cloud in the sky. The ISS passed directly overhead, and 30 seconds later the rocket lit up to go and chase it. Deafening sound, lit up the pitch black sky, physically rattled your chest."
Several days before the launch, Lindgren also sent this video message for his HCMC colleagues.
It was Lindgren's first space flight. He'll be at the space station for five months.