3 astronauts set to launch to space station on Monday

3 astronauts set to launch to space station on Monday

This time, the mission set out to deliver a three-person Russian, American, and Canadian crew to the International Space Station.

A Soyuz MS-11, carrying one astronaut each from the USA and Canada and a cosmonaut from Russian Federation, has been successfully launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday and has safely reached orbit, the United States space agency NASA said in a statement.

The launch was closely scrutinised because of the abortive mission to the ISS on October 11, which ended two minutes after take-off when a rocket failure forced its two-man crew to perform an emergency landing.

It was the first manned Russian launch since a Soyuz rocket carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin failed two minutes into its flight on October 11.

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.

Last month Roscosmos, Russia's space agency, said it had taken measures to prevent the problem from happening again and NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said he was confident the next ISS crew would fly in a Soyuz in December.

Kononenko, McClain and Saint-Jacques smiled and gave thumbs up to the cheering crowd including relatives as they ascended into the Soyuz capsule on Monday morning.

Afterward, investigators said they believed other Soyuz models may have been defective, but said additional checks had been introduced. I'm grateful to Director General Dmitry Rogozin and the entire @NASA and @roscosmos teams for their dedication to making this launch a success.

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At 6:31 a.m. EST, the Soyuz rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Crew commander Mr Kononenko said: "Risk is part of our profession". They were welcomed by Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev, NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor and astronaut of the European Space Agency Alexander Gerst.

During their mission, members of the crew are scheduled to embark on a spacewalk to further probe a mysterious hole that caused a loss of air pressure on-board the ISS in August.

During its 194-day stay on the orbital outpost, the new crew will carry out a lot of operations and 48 scientific experiments.

"We feel very ready for it", she said.

Russia-US cooperation in space has remained one of the few areas not affected by a crisis in ties between the former Cold War enemies.

He recently joked Russian Federation would send a mission to the Moon to "verify" whether or not NASA lunar landings ever took place.

The ship successfully launched into orbit.

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