Published: Mon, December 03, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

3 astronauts blast off to International Space Station

3 astronauts blast off to International Space Station

If for some reason Russian Federation couldn't have resumed crewed flights on a timely basis, the space station's managers would have faced a hard choice over whether to leave the space station unoccupied for a time.

October's aborted trip saw two astronauts forced to make an emergency landing just minutes after take off.

Last month, Roscosmos tweeted a video of the October 11 failed Soyuz rocket launch that forced NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin into making a harrowing emergency landing.

It is the first manned space mission since the October drama, which ended in an emergency landing after a failure mid-flight.

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

"We are psychologically and technically prepared for blast-off and any situation which, God forbid, may occur on board", the 54-year-old said.

The crew who set off on Monday will spend six-and-a-half months on board the station.

3 astronauts blast off to International Space Station
3 astronauts blast off to International Space Station

Space station veteran and mission commander Oleg Kononenko, 54, Quebec family doctor David Saint-Jacques, 48, and Anne McClain, 39, a USA army helicopter pilot who earned masters degrees from the University of Bath and Bristol in the United Kingdom, are scheduled to blast off at 2:30pm Moscow time from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

RFE also quoted McClain, 39, saying: "We feel very ready for it". Russian investigators determined that one of the Soyuz rocket's side boosters didn't separate cleanly, due to a problem with a bent sensor. The pair landed safely about 12 miles east of the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

A Russian Soyuz rocket rises from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying three spacefliers into orbit.

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 FSB reportedly intervened to demand the cancellation of the contract between U.S. firm OneWeb and state corporation Roscosmos to launch a constellation of internet-connectivity satellites.

The experiment could pave the way to new treatments for muscular conditions for people on Earth, according to the UK Space Agency.

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