Crew from aborted Soyuz mission to get second chance at ISS mission

Russia's Soyuz rocket successfully launched into orbit

Russia's Soyuz rocket successfully launched into orbit

Three astronauts - including two radio amateurs - have docked at the International Space Station (ISS) on the first crewed Soyuz vehicle launch since a dramatic failure in October.

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 for the six-hour trip to the orbital space lab, arriving at 5.36pm GMT Monday afternoon.

Their Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft launched from Baikonur at 5:31 p.m. (1131 GMT; 6:31 a.m. EST) then entered a designated orbit just under nine minutes later.

On October 11th, the launch of the Soyuz rocket, which had to take 2 astronauts to the ISS, was a failure.

Saint-Jacques and the other two astronauts, from Russian Federation and the U.S., who blasted off with him yesterday will be manning the International Space Station for the next six months, returning to earth in June 2019.

The latest trip comes less than two months after a previous mission on October 11 failed, when two astronauts from the U.S. and Russian Federation were forced to make an emergency landing, as a result of a problem with the booster.

Lt. Col. Ann McClain and her team will spend six months at the ISS as part of a crew with a slate of 250 research projects, the release said.

In March 2019, the station will again return to a full complement of six crew members when they are joined for Expedition 59 by NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos.

The existing ISS crew is supposed to get its ride back home in a Soyuz capsule that is docked to the station. They were welcomed by Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev, NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor and astronaut of the European Space Agency Alexander Gerst. "They share some of the same problems we do - there's a finite amount in the budget in our countries and space flight is part of the discretionary budget", shared NASA Associate Administrator William Gerstenmaier to Bloomberg.

Russia's Soyuz rocket, the first manned space mission to the International Space Station since an unprecedented accident in October was launched on Monday. They are scheduled to return to Earth on December 20.

Those plans were expected to change after the Soyuz MS-10 abort, as Al Mansouri would have returned on Soyuz MS-10, with Hague and Ovchinin, after a brief stay on the station had that mission flown as planned.

Saint-Jacques has spent years training for the six-month mission, which was originally scheduled for December 20 but was moved up after the aborted Soyuz launch.

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