The incredible view of a rocket launch ... from space

James Marshall
December 5, 2018

The Soyuz lifted off at 1131 GMT from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Anne McClain and the Canadian Space Agency's David Saint-Jacques.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague thought he was going to the International Space Station for the first time in October, but a rocket failure put a temporary halt to his dream of living and working in space.

It was the first manned launch for the Soviet-era Soyuz since Oct 11, when a rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and United States astronaut Nick Hague failed just minutes after blast-off, forcing the pair to make an emergency landing.

Russian investigators blamed that malfunction, which occurred as the first and second stages of a booster rocket separated, on a damaged sensor. The two were awaiting new assignments since the accident, with Russian officials suggesting in October the two could fly again in the spring of 2019.

Hague will now head to the ISS in February 2019.

"We have confirmation of the spacecraft separation; Soyuz capsule and crew safely in orbit", NASA TV said online in its blow-by-blow commentary of the take-off. "I feel in good shape and I'm ready to get back in it, so I'm here and ready to go when I'm called upon", he said then.

Those plans were expected to change after the Soyuz MS-10 abort, as Al Mansouri would have returned on Soyuz MS-10, with Hague and Ovchinin, after a brief stay on the station had that mission flown as planned.

The three crew members will spend more than six months conducting hundreds of science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development, providing the foundation for continuing human spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit to the Moon and Mars.

This arrival briefly restores the ISS' crew complement to six as they join Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA, Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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