Astronauts Arrive Safely on International Space Station Following Previous Failed Launch

A Soyuz rocket carrying Russian, American and Canadian astronauts took off from Kazakhstan and reached orbit today, the first manned mission since a failed launch in October.

Oleg Kononenko, Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques, who arrived on the ISS Dec. 3 shortly before the announcement of the Soyuz MS-12 crew, will have the station to themselves after Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Alexander Gerst and Sergey Prokopyev depart the ISS Dec. 20.

The revised schedule, moving up the launch by about a month, will limit the time on the station with only a three-person crew. The spacecraft made four orbits over six hours as it chased down the space station for the docking.

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

Aboard the International Space Station, he will conduct a number of science experiments, with some focusing on the physical effects of the weak gravity astronauts experience in orbit as well as how to provide remote medical care.

NASA and Roscosmos said that all onboard systems were operating normally and the crew was feeling fine.

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

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Saint-Jacques will be the first Canadian astronaut to visit the space station since Chris Hadfield, who recorded a version of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" on board in 2013.

It was the first manned launch for the Soviet-era Soyuz since October 11, 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 an emergency landing. They managed to emerge safely from a harrowing ordeal.

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

NASA announced Monday that Hague and Ovchinin will now launch to the space station on February 28, along with NASA astronaut Christina Hammock Koch.

Saint-Jacques has spent years training for the six-month mission, which was originally scheduled for December 20 but was moved up after the aborted Soyuz launch.

Canada's governor general and former astronaut Julie Payette will be among the dignitaries watching the launch.

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.

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