Published: Tue, December 04, 2018
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Russia Successfully Launches First Manned Rocket Into Space Since October Failure

Russia Successfully Launches First Manned Rocket Into Space Since October Failure

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).

On Monday, NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenkoof launched to the orbiting outpost aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.

The first manned space mission to the International Space Station since an unprecedented accident in October, which raised concerns about Moscow's Soviet-designed spacecraft, will launch on Monday, December 3.

Nasa administrator, Jim Bridenstine confirmed on Twitter that the crew were "safely in orbit" and thanked the U.S. and Russian teams "for their dedication to making this launch a success".

The journey to the orbital lab takes six hours, with docking expected at 5.36pm GMT.

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

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.

After NASA retired the Space Shuttle in 2011, Russian Soyuz rockets have been the only way to get people to the International Space Station.

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

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

Russia Successfully Launches First Manned Rocket Into Space Since October Failure

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

The Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft lifts off on Monday.

Russian Federation said last month, the October launch had failed because of a sensor that was damaged during assembly at the Baikonur cosmodrome but insisted the spacecraft remained reliable.

The planned duration of the flight will be 194 days.

The spacecraft is due to dock at the ISS at 1736 GMT on Monday.

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.

But the space agency's chief executive, former deputy prime minister Dimitry Rogozin, has been bullish about the project, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

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

He recently joked Russian Federation would send a mission to the Moon to "verify" whether or not NASA lunar landings ever took place.

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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