Crew confident ahead of first flight since failed Soyuz launch

Crew confident ahead of first flight since failed Soyuz launch

On the space station, the crew of NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Russian Sergei Prokopyev and German Alexander Gerst were waiting for their arrival.

The launch came less than two months after a booster failure forced a Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and USA astronaut Nick Hague to make an emergency landing.

Russia's Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft carrying the members of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 58/59, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, blasts off to the ISS from the launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome on December 3, 2018.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Oleg Kononenko of Russian space agency Roscosmos docked with the station at 11:33 p.m. (1723 GMT; 12:33 p.m. EST) Monday.

This will be the first launch of a manned spacecraft after the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle crash on October 11.

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.

The Soyuz successfully docked with the space station a few hours later, with the hatches between the two vessels opening shortly after 2:30 p.m. ET.

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Monday's launch was in the spotlight after last month's botched launch to the ISS from Baikonur. The three new crew of the orbiting outpost lifted off without a hitch on Monday, Dec. 3, from Kazakhstan.

Among the dozens of other experiments the new crew members will take part in is one that will use worms to examine muscle loss in space, led by British scientists.

As Saint-Jacques became just the ninth Canadian to head into space, people across the country connected with the Canadian Space Agency to watch Saint-Jacques' historic flight.

NASA's McClain was deployed to Iraq and has represented the United States women's national rugby union team.

But comments by the combative chief of the Russian space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, have raised eyebrows.

The ship successfully launched into orbit.

In recent years Russia's debt-laden space industry has suffered a number of mishaps including the loss of cargo spacecraft and satellites. On Board were Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin (the commander of the "Soyuz MS-10") and NASA astronaut Nick Hague, they were not injured.

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