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Soyuz heads to ISS on first manned mission since October failure

07 December 2018, 06:23 | Dale Webster

Astronauts blast off for first time since aborted mission by Daniel Binns Published

Astronauts blast off for first time since aborted mission			
				 
   by Daniel Binns 
  Published

Almost two months after a rocket malfunction forced NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos to abort the launch of a Soyuz mission, a new crew blasted off on Monday for the International Space Station and arrived safe and sound.

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.

These crewmembers will be aboard the ISS during the first test flights of the NASA Commercial Crew Program that will see astronauts being able to get into space from the USA for the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle fleet, assuming test flights go well.

The crewmembers of the manned Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft that docked to the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday evening has entered the station after pressure inside the spaceship and the station was equalized, a spokesman for the mission control center said.

The incident became the first failure of a manned space launch in modern Russian history.

The launch was closely scrutinised because of the abortive mission to the ISS on October 11, which ended two minutes after take-off when a rocket failure forced its two-man crew to perform an emergency landing.




Their arrival restores ISS to its usual crew complement of six, but only for two-and-a-half weeks.

The three current inhabitants - Alexander Gerst of Germany, Serena Auñón-Chancellor of the United States and Sergey Prokopyev of Russian Federation - plan to return December 20 aboard a Soyuz module that has been docked to the station since June. The Monday launch marks the Soyuz's return to form.

Hague and Ovchinin were forced to abort an October 11 mission to the ISS because of an anomaly with the Soyuz spacecraft's booster. Since the October mishap, four successful unmanned Soyuz satellite launches have been conducted to clear the path for the crew's launch on Monday.

In fact, NASA said in its announcement that Soyuz MS-10 got high enough that it is counting the mission as a spaceflight, even though the crew did not reach orbit. "Flight dynamics specialists determined Hague and Ovchinin achieved enough altitude on their aborted climb to orbit to qualify for previous spaceflight status, making this Hague's second spaceflight and Ovchinin's third", NASA says.

Some of the investigations they will conduct are sponsored by the U.S. National Laboratory on the space station, which Congress designated in 2005 to maximize its use for improving quality of life on Earth.

This failure caused the automatic ejection of the part where the capsule was with the 2 men, who were able to return safely to the ground.



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