As astronaut who graduated from the University of Tennessee will spend the next four months on the International Space Station.
Coverage will continue at 5 p.m.as the Soyuz spacecraft carrying Bresnik docks with the ISS, and at 7 p.m. there will be a welcoming ceremony for the station's new crew.
NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, and Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli are expected to orbit Earth four times, making the trip a six-hour journey. It was 9:41 p.m. local time at the launch site.
"The trio will take a six-hour, 19-minute ride from Earth to the station's Rassvet module", NASA wrote in a blog update.
NASA Astronaut and Marine Col. Randy Bresnik set to blast off on space station mission
In April, Whitson clinched the record for most days in space by an American when she clocked up a cumulative 534 days.
The launch and flight will be streamed live on NASA TV. He flew on a Space Shuttle Atlantis mission in 2009 with fellow UTSI alum Barry Wilmore ('94).
The European Space Agency shared a video of the launch online.
They will also undertake research projects that pertain to biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science. His science mission for ESA is called Vita (short for Vitality, Innovation, Technology and Ability) and was selected by Italy's ASI space agency. This new crew will remain at the space station until mid-December, according to NASA.