3 astronauts enter International Space Station


Astronauts from the United States, Russia and Canada will launch to the International Space Station (ISS) early Monday for the first time since a scary aborted launch of a Russian Soyuz bound for the ISS less than two months ago.

The launch of the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft carrying Saint-Jacques, Anne McClain of NASA and Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, appeared to go exactly as planned, lifting off at precisely 6:31 a.m. In particular, the crew will work with the Russian Progress MS resupply ships, load and undock the commercial SpaceX DM1 cargo spaceship, work with the Boe-OFT resupply ship, load and undock the Russian manned Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft for the return of the ISS-56/57 crew to Earth, as well as to conduct onboard photo and video surveys of the flight.

Canadian astronauts Bob Thirsk and Jenni Sidey-Gibbons watched the launch of astronaut David Saint-Jacques for the worldwide space station from Kazakhstan at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters Monday, December 3, 2018 in St. Hubert, Que.

The International Space Station offers an unbelievably cool perspective on rocket launches, as European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst proved with three incredible photographs of a crewed Soyuz rocket that lifted off today (Dec. 3).

They will head to the ISS after a Soyuz rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and U.S. astronaut Nick Hague failed on Oct 11 just minutes after blast-off.

She said the most risky moments will come in the moments following the launch, as the rocket passes through several "critical zones" on its way into space.

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The trio have been in orbit since June but are due back to earth on December 20.

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.

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. They managed to emerge safely despite the harrowing ordeal.

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.

Russian space officials took measures to prevent the repeat of such a rocket failure.

The pair escaped unharmed, but the failed launch was the first such accident in Russia's post-Soviet history and a new setback for the country's once proud space industry.