Soyuz rocket lifts off with ISS supplies

James Marshall
November 18, 2018

Russia successfully launched Progress MS-10 cargo ship toward the International Space Station (ISS), Russian state space corporation Roscosmos said Friday.

Early Saturday morning, another uncrewed cargo transport - Northrop Grumman's Cygnus spaceship - is scheduled for launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility atop an Antares rocket.

No issues arose during the craft's ascent to orbit from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, boosting mission managers' confidence that the malfunction had been addressed and that a crewed Soyuz launch planned for next month could proceed.

It is assumed that the failure of the rocket was caused by a sensor that was damaged during an assembly at the Soviet era-cosmodrome at Baikonur, according to Russian investigators. The crew of "Soyuz MS-10" is not affected.

Since the October mishap, two Soyuz rockets were launched successfully from Plesetsk in northwestern Russian Federation, while a third lifted off from French Guiana carrying satellites into orbit. They were of a different subtype than the rocket that failed in October, but the one that lifted off Friday was the same version.

The cargo capsule is set to dock at the station at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The rocket took off from Baikonur, in Kazakhstan, on November 16 carrying essential supplies to the ISS that will prepare it for the station's next mission.

The current crew is scheduled to return to Earth next month after the arrival of their replacements. Those successes have cleared the way for December 3's launch of NASA's Anne McClain, Canada's David Saint-Jacques and Russia's Oleg Kononenko.

"The spaceship separated from the third stage of the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle routinely at 21:23 Moscow time", the spokesman said.

"We trust our rocket". "I think what we learned from the inside in October was how safe this rocket was".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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