Soyuz heads to ISS on first manned mission

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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. The Soyuz rocket which took off from the cosmodrome in Kazakhstan has Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Anne McClain and the Canadian Space Agency's David Saint-Jacques on board.

It is reported by Roscosmos on Monday, December 3, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to the Correspondent. Hague, NASA astronaut Christina Hammock Koch, and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are scheduled to launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome on February 28 aboard the Russian Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft.

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

Aboard the International Space Station, he will conduct a number of science experiments, with some focusing on the physical effects of the weak gravity astronauts experience in orbit as well as how to provide remote medical care.

It was the first manned launch for the Soviet-era Soyuz since Oct 11, when a rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and United States astronaut Nick Hague failed just minutes after blast-off, forcing the pair to make an emergency landing.

In fact, NASA said in its announcement that Soyuz MS-10 got high enough that it is counting the mission as a spaceflight, even though the crew did not reach orbit.

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The crew repeatedly denied being nervous about flying and insisted the fact that the two-man crew had safely returned to Earth despite the dramatic mishap had demonstrated the reliability of the rocket's safety mechanisms.

About two minutes into the fight, the boosters separated as planned, passing the point where the rocket had failed during the launch October 11.

This is the first time a crew has launched to the space station since a failed Soyuz launch in October led to an abort that brought both crewmembers (safely) back to Earth not long after launch. This caused the mission to be aborted and all Soyuz missions grounded until this week.

They are set to launch at 1131 GMT Monday aboard a Soyuz from Baikonur in Kazakhstan for a six-and-a-half month mission.

This is the first time that McClain and Saint-Jacques have been to the ISS, but the fourth mission for Kononenko. "They share some of the same problems we do - there's a finite amount in the budget in our countries and space flight is part of the discretionary budget", shared NASA Associate Administrator William Gerstenmaier to Bloomberg.

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