NASA, Russia launch Soyuz rocket to ISS just weeks after failure

NASA, Russia launch Soyuz rocket to ISS just weeks after failure

The incident became the first failure of a manned space launch in modern Russian history.

Kononenko added that the crew would conduct a spacewalk on December 11 as part of the investigation into a mysterious hole that has caused an air leak on the ISS.

Gerst, who tweeted in anticipation of the new trio's arrival early Monday, could see the launch from the ISS because the space station was in orbit directly over Kazakhstan at the time.

The accident highlighted the "smart design of the Soyuz and the incredible work that the search and rescue people here on the ground are ready to do every launch", the 48-year-old said.

New astronauts Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques with veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko will take a six-hour ride to the station on Monday Dec. 3.

Their Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft launched from the Russian-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday at 5:31 p.m. (1131 GMT; 6:31 a.m. EST) then entered a designated orbit just under nine minutes later. The planned duration of the flight will be 194 days.

The past few months had been tense at Roscosmos, Russia's space agency.

Last month, two astronauts from the U.S. and Russia were forced to make an emergency landing just two minutes after take-off when their Russian-made Soyuz rocket malfunctioned.

Expedition 58 Flight Engineer David Saint Jacques answers a question during a press conference Sunday Dec. 2 2018 at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur Kazakhstan. He is seen with fellow crewmates Flight Engineer Anne Mc Clain of NASA left and Soyuz Com
Image Anne McClain Oleg Kononenko David Saint Jacques are heading to the ISS

The ship successfully launched into orbit.

"Risk is part of our profession", the 54-year-old said at a press conference.

The astronauts who were forced to make an emergency landing will attempt to launch again next spring. "We are psychologically and technically prepared for blast-off and any situation which, may occur on board".

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

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.

The families of the crew, other astronauts and space officials from several nations breathed a sigh of relief Monday after observing the flawless launch, with October's rocket failure still on the minds of many.

The three Expedition 58 astronauts will briefly join NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency and cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev on the ISS.

On Monday, NASA announced Hague and Ovchinin will now launch to the space station on February 28, along with NASA astronaut Christina Hammock Koch.