Astronauts to try for space station on Russian rocket after October crash

Astronauts to try for space station on Russian rocket after October crash

A Russian-made Soyuz rocket blasted a three-man crew into orbit on Monday, beginning the first manned voyage to the International Space Station since a mission in October was aborted midair because of a rocket malfunction.

New astronauts Anne McClain of the United States and David Saint-Jacques of Canada, together with veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko of Russian Federation, are due to arrive at the space station after a trip of six hours.

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-11 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.

The planned duration of the flight will be 194 days.

The hatch was opened at 1:37 a.m. (1940 GMT; 2:40 p.m. EST) while the station was flying over the southern coast of Yemen.

NASA and Roscosmos said all onboard systems operated normally and the astronauts felt fine during the six-hour trip the space station.

It was the first manned launch for the Soviet-era Soyuz since 11 October, when a rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and United States astronaut Nick Hague failed just minutes after blast-off, forcing the pair to make a harrowing emergency landing. It was the first manned mission since a failed launch in October. The trio is set to dock with the ISS six hours later.

Astronauts to try for space station on Russian rocket after October crash

Astronauts from Russian Federation, the U.S. and Canada left from Kazakhstan on a mission bound for the International Space Station at 17:30 (11:30 GMT). They managed to emerge safely from a harrowing ordeal.

A criminal investigation into the failure placed the blame on a sensor which had been damaged during assembly. The families of the crew, other astronauts and space officials from several nations breathed a sigh of relief after observing the flawless launch.

He said Ovchinin and Hague would be on board, along with NASA's Christina Koch.

They escaped unharmed but the failed launch - the first such incident in Russia's post-Soviet history - raised concerns about the state of the Soyuz programme.

Since the mishap, four successful unmanned Soyuz satellite launches have been conducted.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Oleg Kononenko of Russian space agency Roscosmos docked with the station at 11:33 p.m. (1723 GMT; 12:33 p.m. EST) Monday.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo resupply spacecraft will launch on Tuesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will carry over 5,800 pounds of critical research and supplies for the incoming crew.

Israel launches operation to destroy Hezbollah tunnels
Israel has accused Iran of supporting Hezbollah with money and arms to continue fighting in Syria and retain its power in Lebanon. Reports in recent days have indicated that Iran is now flying weapons for Hezbollah directly to Beirut , rather than via Syria.

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