Russian Federation successfully launches manned Soyuz rocket following October failure

Pablo Tucker
December 4, 2018

A Soyuz spacecraft with three crew onboard blasted off to the International Space Station (ISS) Monday.

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, American astronaut Anne McClain, and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques successfully launched at 6:31 a.m. ET from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and went into orbit a short time later.

The revised schedule, moving up the launch by about a month, will limit the time on the station with only a three-person crew.

That triggered the Soyuz spacecraft's launch abort system, sending the spacecraft away from the damaged rocket.

Their Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft launched from Baikonur at 5:31 p.m. (1131 GMT; 6:31 a.m. EST) then entered a designated orbit just under nine minutes later.


The Soyuz spacecraft is now the only vehicle that can ferry crews to the space station, but Russian Federation stands to lose that monopoly in the coming years with the arrival of SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's Starliner crew capsules.

"OSIRIS-REx will return the sample to Earth in September 2023".

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 is the first mission since an aborted launch in October.

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 new arrivals to the ISS will join the European Space Agency's Alexander Gerst, NASA's Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Russia's Sergey Prokopyev, who have been in orbit since June but are due to fly back to Earth on December 20. They managed to emerge safely despite the harrowing ordeal.


Russian Federation said last month, the October launch had failed because of a sensor that was damaged during assembly at the Baikonur cosmodrome but insisted the spacecraft remained reliable.

Three astronauts were on board Monday for the launch.

Space officials breathed a sigh of relief after observing the flawless launch, with October's rocket failure still on the minds of many.

The Soyuz accident in October was the first aborted crew launch for the Russian space program since 1983, when two Soviet cosmonauts safely jettisoned after a launch pad explosion.

Nasa administrator, Jim Bridenstine confirmed on Twitter that the crew were "safely in orbit" and thanked the U.S. and Russian teams "for their dedication to making this launch a success".


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

Other reports by iNewsToday

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