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

Soyuz MS-11 Arrives At The International Space Station

Soyuz MS-11 Arrives At The International Space Station

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Anne McClain of Nasa and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency blasted off from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome earlier in the day.

The manned Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft with three crewmembers of the new expedition to the International Space Station (ISS) has docked to the station's Russian module Poisk (MIM-2), a spokesman for Russia's state space corporation Roscosmos said on Monday. Automatic docking was carried out at 20:33 Moscow time after the spacecraft approached the station using a four-loop program.

Barley two months after a Soyuz made an emergency landing, the Russian spacecraft has safely brought one astronaut each from the United States and Canada and a cosmonaut from Russia, to the International Space Station (ISS).

Hague and Ovchinin were on the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft that launched October 11 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

They'll stay aboard the space station for about 6.5 months performing science and learning how to live in space.

They escaped unharmed but the failed launch was the first such incident in Russia's post-Soviet history and a new setback for the country's once proud space industry.

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The families of the crew, other astronauts and space officials from several nations breathed a sigh of relief after observing the flawless launch, with October's Soyuz rocket failure still on the minds of many. Auñón-Chancellor, Gerst and Prokopyev are scheduled to remain aboard the station until December 20.

Nasa astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos's Alexei Ovchinin safely landed back on Earth in an emergency capsule shortly after taking off.

This is the first Soyuz launch since the aborted launch in October, where the astronauts on-board were forced to conduct an emergency landing.

The launch comes after a Soyuz rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and U.S. astronaut Nick Hague failed on October 11 just minutes after blast-off, forcing the pair to make an emergency landing. That triggered the Soyuz spacecraft's launch abort system, sending the spacecraft away from the damaged rocket.

The Soyuz spacecraft is now the only vehicle that can ferry crews to the space station, but Russian Federation stands to lose that monopoly in the coming years with the arrival of SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's Starliner crew capsules.

Kononenko, McClain and Saint-Jacques smiled and gave thumbs up to the cheering crowd including relatives as they ascended into the Soyuz capsule on Monday morning.

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