Astronauts on aborted Soyuz launch to blast off again for ISS

Pat Wise
March 18, 2019

A Russian-made Soyuz rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday, carrying three astronauts into space, two of whom survived a mid-air rocket failure in October, Reuters reports.

The Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft carrying three crew members successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, Russia's space corporation Roscosmos said.

Koch, Hague and Ovchinin's flight was being closely watched for another reason too.

You can also get news, images, and features from the space station on its Instagram or Twitter.

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The investigations include devices that mimic the structure and function of human organs, free-flying robots, and an instrument to measure Earth's distribution of carbon dioxide.

It was originally scheduled to be docked during the orbital sunset, but arrived before the original time.

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Hague for his part said he looked forward to the flight - his second attempt to go into space for the first time.

"McClain and Koch will complete the upgrades to two station power channels during a March 29 spacewalk", according to a NASA update. As with all spacewalks, crew member assignments are subject to change due to real-time operations.

McClain, Saint-Jacques and Kononenko are scheduled to remain aboard the station until June, while Hague, Koch and Ovchinin are set to return to Earth early this fall.

The launch will be closely watched after the two men's space journey was cut short in October when a technical problem with their Soyuz rocket triggered a launch abort two minutes into the flight.

The arrival of the trio restores the station's crew compliment to six.

In addition to carrying out science experiments in the fields of biology, physics, medicine and more, Hague and his fellow crew members will also help dock and unload several cargo shipments, as well as perform a handful of spacewalks to fix and upgrade the station's orbital laboratory.

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