With the NASA Space Shuttle program confined to the vaults of space travel history the Russian Soyuz rockets are one of the few ways to get into space these days. Even American astronauts have become cosmonauts, and who would have thought that when the space race began in the 50′s and 60′s.

Join TotallyCoolPix on Facebook and Twitter or join our Flickr Group.

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft is transported to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome November 11, 2011. The crew of U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin is due to travel by the Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 14. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft is lifted to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome, November 11, 2011. The crew of U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishinis is due to travel by Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 14. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

A man takes a photo in front of the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft as it is transported to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome November 11, 2011. The crew of U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin is due to travel by the Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 14. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft is transported to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome November 11, 2011. The crew of U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin is due to travel by Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 14. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft is transported to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome, November 11, 2011. The crew of U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin is due to travel by the Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 14. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft is set on its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome, November 11, 2011. The crew of U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin is due to travel by Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 14. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft is transported to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome November 11, 2011. The crew of U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin is due to travel by the Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 14. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft is set on its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome, November 11, 2011. The crew of U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin is due to travel by the Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 14. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

A Russian policeman walks in front of the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft as it is transported to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome, November 11, 2011. The crew of U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin is due to travel by Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 14. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft is transported to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome, November 11, 2011. The crew of U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin is due to travel by Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 14. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft is silhouetted against the sunrise as it is transported to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome November 11, 2011. The crew of U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin is due to travel by the Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 14. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

An Orthodox priest conducts a service in front of the Soyuz TMA-22 sitting on its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome November 12, 2011, ahead of the spacecraft's trip to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 14. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

Expedition 29 Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov (L) and Expedition 29 NASA Flight Engineer Daniel Burbank wave to friends and family as they wait for their Russian Sokol suits to be prepared for their launch to the International Space Station, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan November 14, 2011. REUTERS/NASA/Carla Cioffi/Handout

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

Expedition 29 NASA Flight Engineer Daniel Burbank (2nd L) is escorted to the Soyuz launch pad during a snow storm prior to his launch to the International Space Station at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan November 14, 2011. REUTERS/NASA/Carla Cioffi/Handout

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

International Space Station (ISS) crew member U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank (C) gives a thumbs-up as he walks to the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft before its launch at Baikonur cosmodrome November 14, 2011. Members of the ISS crew Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin took off on Monday returning a full crew to the ISS after the crash of a Russian cargo spaceship disrupted operations and undermined faith in the Russian space programme. REUTERS/Mikhail Metzel/Pool

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft rests on its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome November 14, 2011. The crew of U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin blasted off on Monday to return a full crew to the ISS as Russia seeks to restore confidence in its space programme following the recent crash of a cargo spaceship and several botched launches. REUTERS/Mikhail Metzel/Pool

The Soyuz TMA-22 Spacecraft Launch

The Russian Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft, carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, blasts off in a snowfall at the Baikonur cosmodrome November 14, 2011. The launch at 0414 GMT was the first since NASA ended its 30-year shuttle programme in July, heralding a gap of several years when the 16 nations investing in the $100-billion space station will rely solely on Russia to ferry crews. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

Nov 16, 2011