Three astronauts dock safely at International Space Station

The International Space Station crew member David Saint Jacques of Canada gestures shortly before their launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome Kazakhstan

According to NASA's Twitter, the crew has officially arrived at the International Space Station and they're completing some safety measures, including putting hooks in place and checking for leaks before going inside their new home.

This is Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronauts and the Canadian space Agency Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques, reports channel "MIR 24". He denies using European weapons to repress opponents.

Last month, Roscosmos tweeted a video of the October 11 failed Soyuz rocket launch that forced NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin into making a harrowing emergency landing.

At a press conference the night before the launch, crew commander Kononenko said the astronauts "absolutely" trusted teams preparing for the flight.

The past few months had been tense at Roscosmos, Russia's space agency. Although neither passenger was harmed, Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin had to make a ballistic descent.

The astronauts were the first sent to be sent to the space station since a crewed Soyuz launch was aborted in October after a booster rocket failed to separate properly, crippling the rocket.

Despite October's emergency landing, however, astronauts expressed continued confidence on the Soyuz.

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"We are psychologically and technically prepared for blastoff and any situation which, God forbid, may occur on board", the 54-year-old said.

The Soyuz is the only means of reaching the ISS since the United States retired the space shuttle in 2011.

Next year, however, Russian Federation will see intense global competition.

The three-person crew's mission was originally scheduled for later this month, but officials brought it forward to avoid the ISS being left unmanned when its current crew return to earth.

NASA hopes that SpaceX and Boeing will change that when their human-rated space launch systems come online in the coming years. The crew will join American Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Germany's Alexander Gerst and Russia's Sergey Prokopyev, all of whom are already living on the orbital station.

Astronaut Hague and cosmonaut Ovchinin will once again attempt to join the ISS crew on February 28, 2019, alongside Christina Hammock Koch.

The trip to space - which had originally been scheduled for December 20 - had to be moved up to ensure that the ISS wouldn't be abandoned for the first time since crew arrived there on November 2, 2000.



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