Published: Wed, December 05, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Soyuz arrives at ISS on first manned mission since October failure

Soyuz arrives at ISS on first manned mission since October failure

The launch came less than two months after a booster failure forced a Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and USA astronaut Nick Hague to make an emergency landing.

On Monday, Dec. 3, veteran Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, American astronaut Anne McClain, and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Among the dozens of experiments the new crew members will be involved in is one led by British scientists that will use worms to examine muscle loss in space.

Three astronauts have blasted off on the first manned Soyuz rocket launch since a dramatic failure in October.

Russian Federation suspended all manned space launches pending an investigation before giving the green light November 1.

A Soyuz MS-11, carrying one astronaut each from the U.S. and Canada and a cosmonaut from Russian Federation, has been successfully launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday and has safely reached orbit, the USA space agency NASA said in a statement.

Speaking before the trip on Sunday, crew commander Oleg Kononenko affirmed his crew "absolutely" trusted the flight's preparation.

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NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin ejected the capsule from the rocket when the spacecraft was about 50 kilometers - 31 miles - above Earth.

The astronauts who were forced to make an emergency landing will attempt to launch again next spring.

This will be the first launch of a manned spacecraft after the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle crash on October 11.

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

The United States has been relying on its services since 2001 after the space shuttle program shut down. "We are psychologically and technically prepared for blast-off and any situation which, God forbid, may occur onboard". In recent years Russia's debt-laden space industry has suffered a number of mishaps including the loss of cargo spacecraft and satellites.

The three-person crew's mission was originally scheduled for later this month, but officials brought it forward to avoid the ISS being left unmanned when its current crew return to earth.

Astronaut Hague and cosmonaut Ovchinin will once again attempt to join the ISS crew on February 28, 2019, alongside Christina Hammock Koch. Its current crew - Sergey Prokopyev, Serena Auñón-Chancellor, and Commander Alexander Gerst - will return to Earth on December 20.

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