Cargo ship launch clears crewed mission to space station

Two minutes into that launch a rocket failure forced Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague to abort their mission and hurtle back to Earth in a capsule that landed in the Kazakh steppe

On Friday, an unmanned rocket carrying cargo blasted off into space, in the first launch of a Russian-made Soyuz-FG rocket from Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome since the dramatic aborted launch in October.

WASHINGTON, Nov 16 ― Windy weather pushed back until tomorrow the planned launch of a USA cargo ship loaded with supplies for astronauts living at the International Space Station, Nasa said yesterday.

The Progress MS-10 is expected to dock at the ISS on November 18, Russia's space agency said.

The launch of the cargo ship follows a failed attempt on October 11th using the same type of rocket.

The accident was the first aborted crew launch for the Russian space program since 1983, when two Soviet cosmonauts jettisoned after a launch pad explosion and also had a safe landing. It has "Geo-Eye" to monitor India.

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The next Soyuz launch with astronauts on board ― one Russian, one Canadian and one American ― is planned for December 3.

Since that event, two Soyuz rockets were launched successfully from Plesetsk in northwestern Russian Federation, while another lifted off from French Guiana. About half of the shipment's weight is dedicated to cargo, including food and spare parts; the rest of the vehicle is filled with supplies of fuel, oxygen, air and water, according to NASA. Northrop Grumman will launch another cargo shipment in a Cygnus capsule, powered by an Antares rocket, early Saturday morning (Nov. 17).

The supplies will be greeted by the three astronauts now living and working aboard the orbiting laboratory: NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev.

Speaking at a news conference in Star City near Moscow, McClain said that occasional failures were inevitable, but that the mishap with the Soyuz-FG in October had demonstrated the reliability of its emergency safety mechanisms.



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