Many people are unaware that the Russians and the Americans, along with their international partners, worked very closely for decades to build the International Space Station. The retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle fleet took place in 2012. Since then, the international partners have been solely reliant on Russia and its Soyuz rocket to launch to the ISS.
A number of times each year I traveled to Russian and Kazakhstan to photograph manned rocket launches to the ISS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and subsequent return to earth landings in the remote Steppes. During this time, I became the first American woman to photograph these launches, and I remain the only American woman to photograph return to earth from the open door of a Russian military MI-8 helicopter.
These images comprise assignments from launches to ISS and back to earth landings in Kazakhstan and Russia.