Science

ISS’ newest crewmembers arrive at the space station

ISS’ newest crewmembers arrive at the space station

Three crew members are adjusting to life on the International Space Station after a successful launch and docking of their Russian Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft Monday. This was the first manned voyage of the Soyuz since October 11, when a rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and USA astronaut Nick Hague failed just minutes after blast-off, forcing the two astronauts to make a harrowing emergency landing.

Hague and Ovchinin were forced to abort an October 11 mission to the ISS because of an anomaly with the Soyuz spacecraft's booster.

The spacecraft docked at the space station following four orbits around the Earth.

Barley two months after a Soyuz made an emergency landing, the Russian spacecraft has safely brought one astronaut each from the USA and Canada and a cosmonaut from Russia, to the International Space Station (ISS).

The three newest members will then officially begin Expedition 58, which will see them stay on the ISS conducting hundreds of science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.




They escaped unharmed but the failed launch was the first such incident in Russia's post-Soviet history and a new setback for the country's once proud space industry. They were welcomed by Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev, NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor and astronaut of the European Space Agency Alexander Gerst. Auñón-Chancellor, Gerst, and Prokopyev will return to Earth on December 20 at 12:03 am ET (undocking is December 19 at 8:42 pm ET).

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).

In October, booster failure forced a Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and United States astronaut Nick Hague to make an emergency landing. It was the first manned mission since a failed launch in October. The failure was later attributed to a sensor that was damaged during the rocket's final assembly.

Saint-Jacques has spent years training for the six-month mission, which was originally scheduled for December 20 but was moved up after the aborted Soyuz launch.

Taking to micro-blogging website Twitter, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed that the crew were "safely in orbit" and thanked the USA and Russian teams "for their dedication to making this launch a success".