Soyuz arrives at ISS on first manned mission since October failure

Astronauts

Soyuz arrives at ISS on first manned mission since October failure

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

The launch, which took place from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as the sun was setting, was the first crewed launch since an anomaly during booster separation sent two astronauts falling back to Earth in an emergency landing on October 11.

Russian Federation said last month the launch of the Soyuz rocket failed because of a sensor that was damaged during assembly at the Baikonur cosmodrome.

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.

The Soyuz was "successfully launched into orbit", Roscosmos wrote on Twitter.

The launch had unusually high stakes following the accident in October, when a Soyuz suffered a malfunction around two minutes after take-off, forcing an American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut to eject about 30 miles above the earth's surface.

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.

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-11 space ship blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome Kazakhstan on Monday
The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-11 space ship blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome Kazakhstan on Monday

Russia's state space corporation, Roscosmos, traced the failure to a damaged sensor and found that two other Soyuz rockets might have the same defect. She offered Saint-Jacques a "Bravo, bravo, bravo" and told the space station crew they were an inspiration for humanity.

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

Back on Canadian soil, a crowd monitored the launch from the Canadian Space Agency in Longueuil, Que., as the rocket began its trip to the space station.

"We are psychologically and technically prepared for blastoff and any situation which, God forbid, may occur on board".

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.

"Welcome to Space! The trio is now safely in orbit and solar arrays have successfully deployed on their Soyuz spacecraft".

Russian Federation suspended all manned space launches pending an investigation before giving the green light November 1. CBC News Network will also broadcast the interactive special featuring Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.

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