Soyuz arrives at ISS on first manned mission since October failure

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The pictures, taken Monday, show the Soyuz rocket carrying the three new space station residents as it ascends to orbit just after launch. Automatic docking was carried out at 20:33 Moscow time after the spacecraft approached the station using a four-loop program.

Their arrival restores ISS to its usual crew complement of six, but only for two-and-a-half weeks. In addition, Kononenko and Prokopiev 11 December will be released into outer space to explore the ship "Soyuz MS-09" where you previously found the hole.

Barley two months after a Soyuz made an emergency landing, the Russian spacecraft has safely brought one astronaut each from the United States and Canada and a cosmonaut from Russia, to the International Space Station (ISS).

The Soyuz carrying Anne McClain of NASA, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, and Oleg Konenenko of Roscosmos launched at 6:31 a.m. EST (5:31 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

McClain, Saint-Jacques and Kononenko will spend more than six months at the space station doing research and experiments in biology, Earth science, physical sciences and technology.

The incident became the first failure of a manned space launch in modern Russian history. They joined the three crew members who have been aboard since June: NASA's Serena Auñón-Chancellor, ESA's Alexander Gerst, and Roscosmos's Sergey Prokopyev.

A Soyuz-FG rocket carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin failed two minutes into its flight on October 11, activating an automatic rescue system that sent their capsule into a steep ride back to Earth.

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Taking to micro-blogging website Twitter, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed that the crew were "safely in orbit" and thanked the U.S. and Russian teams "for their dedication to making this launch a success".

That was the first crewed Soyuz failure in decades.

The Soviet-designed Soyuz rocket is now the world's only lifeline to the ISS.

The accident highlighted the "smart design of the Soyuz and the incredible work that the search and rescue people here on the ground are ready to do every launch", he said.

Russian investigators blamed that malfunction, which occurred as the first and second stages of a booster rocket separated, on a damaged sensor.

While flight commander Kononenko is beginning his fourth mission to add to an impressive 533 days in space, both Saint-Jacques and McClain are making their maiden trip.

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