Manned Soyuz rocket successfully launched into space

Roscosmos

Roscosmos

The Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft lifts off on Monday.

Its current crew - Sergey Prokopyev, Serena Auñón-Chancellor, and Commander Alexander Gerst - will return to Earth on December 20.

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

Almost two months after a rocket malfunction forced NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos to abort the launch of a Soyuz mission, a new crew blasted off on Monday for the International Space Station and arrived safe and sound.

Russia's space agency Roscosmos has now successfully launched five Soyuz rockets since the incident, and does not believe there is a chance of the failure repeating.

Following a six-hour journey making four orbits of Earth, the crew will dock the Soyuz to the station's Poisk module to begin their mission on the orbital laboratory.

The Soyuz is the only means of reaching the ISS since the United States retired the space shuttle in 2011.

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.

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

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.

"We are psychologically and technically prepared for blastoff and any situation which, God forbid, may occur on board", said Kononenko, the 54-year-old crew commander, according to Radio Free Europe.

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

"Although we knew that you were safe and sound, there was nothing like seeing you come through the hatch", Laporte said.

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.

Next year, however, Russian Federation will see intense worldwide competition.

At a press conference following the successful docking, Rogozin announced March 1, 2019, as the date for the next manned launch to the ISS.

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