Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Astronauts blast off for first time since aborted mission

By Canadian Press By Canadian Press
Kristen Harrington | 05 December, 2018, 18:29

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

This is the first spaceflight for both McClain and Saint-Jacques and the fourth trip to the space station for Kononenko. In addition, Kononenko and Prokopiev 11 December will be released into outer space to explore the ship "Soyuz MS-09" where you previously found the hole.

The two crewmembers on a Soyuz mission to the International Space Station that was aborted two minutes after liftoff in October will get a second chance to go to the ISS next year, NASA announced December 3.

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European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst, Nasa's Serena Aunon-Chancellor and Sergei Prokopyev of Roscosmos were set to greet the trio on arrival at the ISS.

Those plans were expected to change after the Soyuz MS-10 abort, as Al Mansouri would have returned on Soyuz MS-10, with Hague and Ovchinin, after a brief stay on the station had that mission flown as planned. The evening of the same day it was filled with several layers of epoxy, and the pressure on the ISS is stabilized.

The crew is scheduled to be onboard during the first test flights of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which will return human spaceflight launches to US soil. This was the first manned voyage of the Soyuz since October 11, when a rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and U.S. astronaut Nick Hague failed just minutes after blast-off, forcing the two astronauts to make a harrowing emergency landing. In its annual report, the Russian space agency blamed SpaceX for its financial misfortunes now that the United States is no longer relying on the Soyuz program to launch astronauts to space.

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Hague will now head to the ISS in February 2019.

That same month they will be joined by another three spacefarers, a crew which will comprise the two men that aborted the launch in October, Nick Hague (NASA) and Alexey Ovchinin (Roscosmos) and a newcomer, Christina Koch (NASA). The crew was not hurt. That's when a rocket failure forced the Soyuz capsule carrying two astronauts to make an emergency landing.

The incident-probing commission announced on November 1 that the emergency situation occurred after "a nozzle cover on the oxidizer tank failed to open due to the deformation of the separation contact sensor.".

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