of Soyuz 61 igniting its second stage ferrying new crew to space station
Very cool! I wonder why the vapor trail is squiggly.
I am guessing the high altitude ‘wind’. I think that the second stage fires in the atmosphere.
Yep it does. Second stage runs to 180 km or so of altitude, so most of its flight is within the atmosphere.
Edit: wait… shouldn’t that be the third stage?
Maybe they count differently but the usual way I know is this:
Soyuz is a three stage design that fires stages #1 (four boosters) and #2 (center) simultaneously on the ground. The third stage is the small part plus the space ship that docks with the ISS.
Image looks like something we all see in health class.