Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Soyuz rocket: First astronauts to launch since October failure

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques lifts off on Russian rocket to International Space Station Soyuz rocket: First astronauts to launch since October failure
Elijah Vega | 03 December, 2018, 14:39

A Russian, an American and a Canadian astronaut will take off for the global space station on Monday in the first manned launch of a Soyuz rocket since a crash in October.

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

NASA said, the launch comes less than two months after a booster failure forced a Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and United States astronaut Nick Hague to make an emergency landing.

The evening before the launch, crew commander Oleg Kononenko said the astronauts "absolutely" had trust in the flight preparations.

Russia's space agency Roscosmos has now successfully launched five Soyuz rockets since the incident, and does not believe there is a chance of the failure repeating. Russian investigators determined that one of the Soyuz rocket's side boosters didn't separate cleanly, due to a problem with a bent sensor.

"We are psychologically and technically prepared for blast-off and any situation which, God forbid, may occur on board".

Soyuz rocket: First astronauts to launch since October failure

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.

Ahead of Monday's launch a Russian Orthodox priest blessed the spaceship on its launchpad, in accordance with tradition, while the crew spoke calmly of the dangers involved.

NASA's Anne McClain, Russia's Oleg Kononenko, Canada's David Saint-Jacques were aboard the launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Monday as part of Expedition 58.

Kononenko added that the crew would conduct a spacewalk on December 11 as part of an investigation into a mysterious hole that has caused an air leak on the ISS.

Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, is now the only organisation transporting astronauts to the ISS after Nasa ended its space shuttle flights in 2011.

McClain, Saint-Jacques and Kononenko will spend more than six months doing research and experiments in biology, Earth science, physical sciences and technology.

Bill Belichick tells Adam Thielen to shut the f--- up
Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy also said something to Thielen. "It was a close play that could've been reviewed". The New England Patriots grabbed their ninth win of the season in Week 13 by beating the Minnesota Vikings 24-10.

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