Russian Federation successfully launches manned spacecraft for space station

Russian Federation successfully launches manned spacecraft for space station

Russian Federation successfully launches manned spacecraft for space station

The Soyuz-FG rocket carrying a Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft blasted off the Baikonur space center at 22:14 Moscow time.

The Soyuz MS-12 took off at 1914 GMT, as planned, and is due to bring Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and US astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch to the International Space Station around eight hours later.

Expedition 59 crew members Christina Koch of NASA, Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos and Nick Hague of NASA during pre-launch training.

It was the first such accident in Russia's post-Soviet history and a major setback for its once proud space industry.

An investigation showed then that the abortive launch was caused by a sensor damaged during the rocket's assembly at the cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

"Yesterday they found some minor malfunctions", the 47-year-old said on Wednesday.

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

Space expert Vadim Lukashevich said last-minute replacements were nothing out of the ordinary.

Russia's space industry has in recent years suffered a lot of mishaps including the loss of cargo spacecraft and numerous satellites.

In December 2018, another crew consisting of the Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Canadian David Saint-Jacques and NASA's Anne McClain was successfully sent into orbit in the first manned space flight since the incident.

Speaking to reporters, the trio and their three-man backup crew stressed cooperation rather than competition following the Dragon mission, seen by some as the dawn of an era of commercial space travel driven by businessmen such as Elon Musk who owns SpaceX.

During her time at the space station, she will conduct experiments and perform general maintenance work.

Altre Notizie