Visit the International Space Station in this jaw-dropping video from NASA

To infinity, and beyond!

NASA has just signed on to extend its contract with Russia to ferry its astronauts up to the International Space Station, but what's the journey like?

This jaw-dropping video, put together by the fine folks at Sploid from new and old Soyuz launch footage, gives some idea - from explosive launch to arrival at mankind's only output in space.

Since retiring the Space Shuttle program, NASA has been forced to rely on Russia's Soyuz craft to get its spacefarers aloft. It doesn't come cheap - the latest deal cost the US $490 million.

Private spaceflight firms are hoping to replace Soyuz in the coming years - with SpaceX and Boeing on track to end US dependence on Soyuz by 2017.

NASA administrator Charles Bolden said: "The safe, reliable, and cost-effective solutions being developed here at home will allow for more astronauts to conduct research aboard the space station, enable new jobs and ensure US leadership in spaceflight this century."

Image credit: NASA