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07 December 2018, 10:27 | Dale Webster
Astronauts on new mission dismiss safety concerns after Soyuz accident
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. He said "it's just the beginning" of the discoveries ahead of him.
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.
The three-man crew appeared briefly before relatives and reporters on Monday morning, waving and blowing kisses as they left a hotel to board a bus on their way to prepare for the flight. She later said she was caught off guard by her own reaction watching her colleague fulfil a lifelong dream.
The crew reported that all went well in the critical initial minutes after liftoff.
"Space represents a lot of opportunities for a lot of Canadians", he said at the agency office.
One of Canada's newest astronauts, Jenni Sidey-Gibbons, grinned broadly as the rocket carrying Saint-Jacques launched.
The launch, which took place from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as the sun was setting, was the first crewed launch since an anomaly during booster separation sent two astronauts falling back to Earth in an emergency landing on October 11.
"Space is changing so quickly and my hope is Canada's as much a participant as it has ever been in worldwide programs moving forward", she said. The pair was forced to evacuate, and had a safe but bumpy ride back to Earth.
A Russian investigation attributed the failure to a sensor that was damaged during the rocket's final assembly.
Three astronauts have successfully blasted off to the International Space Station from Kazakhstan, a flawless launch that follows October's aborted mission. Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Gerst and Prokopyev are scheduled to leave the space station on December 20.
Aboard the station, he will conduct a number of science experiments, with some focusing on the physical effects of the weak gravity astronauts experience in orbit.
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. "The challenge for him will be to pace himself to accomplish the work that's expected of him".
This time, the mission set out to deliver a three-person Russian, American, and Canadian crew to the International Space Station. CBC News Network will also broadcast the interactive special featuring Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.
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