Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Rocket docks at International Space Station

Rocket docks at International Space Station Rocket docks at International Space Station
Elijah Vega | 04 December, 2018, 16:58

NASA had already assigned Koch to the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft in May, a mission at the time scheduled for launch in April 2019. The Russian rocket carries USA astronaut Anne McClain, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko‎ and CSA astronaut David Saint Jacques.

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst, NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor and Sergei Prokopyev of Roscosmos will greet the trio when they arrive at the ISS.

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.

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.

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying three astronauts has successfully docked with the International Space Station following a launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan six hours earlier.

This was the first time people rode on one of the Russian rockets since October 11, when two and a half minutes after takeoff, one of the Soyuz MS-10's four boosters broke off, sending the aircraft spinning out of control. It is the first manned space mission since the October drama, which ended in an emergency landing after a failure mid-flight.

A Russian investigation attributed the failure to a sensor that was damaged during the rocket's final assembly.

Rocket docks at International Space Station

The crew repeatedly denied being nervous about flying and insisted the fact that the two-man crew had safely returned to Earth despite the dramatic mishap had demonstrated the reliability of the rocket's safety mechanisms.

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.

This is the first spaceflight for both McClain and Saint-Jacques and the fourth trip to the space station for Kononenko.

McClain, 39, served in Iraq and has represented the United States in women's rugby.

Russia-US cooperation in space has remained one of the few areas not affected by a crisis in ties between the former Cold War enemies.

But comments by the combative chief of the Russian space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, have increasingly raised eyebrows.

The launch will be a test for Russia's space industry, which has suffered several high-profile crashes in recent years but remains the only reliable way to deliver crew members to the orbiting station.

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