NASA, Roscosmos Successfully Launch Soyuz After Aborted Mission

James Marshall
December 4, 2018

NASA's Anne McClain, Russia's Oleg Kononenko, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques - reached orbit about 10 minutes after taking off from Kazakhstan on the Soyuz MS-11 rocket. You can see more awesome launch photos in our full gallery.

Astronauts from Russian Federation, the United States and Canada left from Kazakhstan on a mission bound for the International Space Station at 17:30 (11:30 GMT).

The trio blasted off aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket two months after a similar rocket launched from the same site malfunctioned, forcing astronauts Aleksey Ovchinin and Nick Hague to make an emergency re-entry.

But today, everything went precisely according to plan, with an on-schedule and anomaly-free liftoff at 6:31 a.m. EST (1131 GMT).

They'll spend about six hours in orbit before docking at the ISS around 12:30 p.m, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said.

It will be the first flight for both McClain and Saint-Jacques and the fourth for Kononenko.

The incident on 11 October cast a spotlight on the safety of Russia's space programme, whose fleet have suffered a number of technical failures in recent years.

Three astronauts who launched into space aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft have entered the International Space Station after spending almost eight hours in their tiny capsule.

"Risk is part of our profession", the 54-year-old said.

October's accident had highlighted the "smart design of the Soyuz and the incredible work that the search and rescue people here on the ground are ready to do every launch", he said. It turned out the problem was in an improperly assembled booster, which damaged the craft when it detached from the second stage.

Now that crewed flights have resumed, Gerst and two other crew members, NASA's Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Russia's Sergey Prokopyev, are due to head back to Earth on December 19.

Russian Federation successfully launched a crew of astronauts toward the International Space Station on Monday - nearly two months after their rocket dramatically broke apart mid-flight.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted his thanks to his Russian counterpart Dmitry Rogozin and to NASA and Roscosmos teams "for their dedication to making this launch a success".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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