Friday, 14 December, 2018

Canadian astronaut Saint-Jacques 'astounded' by voyage to space station

Three astronauts set to launch to ISS tomorrow Astronauts to try for space station on Russian rocket after October crash
Frank Williams | 04 December, 2018, 05:02

USA astronaut Anne McClain, centre, Russian cosmonaut Оleg Kononenko, bottom, and CSA astronaut David Saint Jacques, crew members of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, wave as they board the rocket prior to the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.

The previous launch - involving NASA's Nick Hague and Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin - had to be aborted after the first stage of the rocket failed to separate as planned.

A Russian, an American and a Canadian astronaut will take off for the global space station on Monday in the first manned launch of a Soyuz rocket since a crash in October.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Oleg Kononenko of Russian space agency Roscosmos docked with the station at 11:33 p.m. (1733 GMT; 12:33 p.m. EST) Monday while flying over 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Ecuador.

Saint-Jacques will be the first Canadian resident of the International Space Station since Chris Hadfield, who was on a five-month mission that ended in May 2013.

There, they'll meet the European Space Agency's Alexander Gerst, NASA's Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Roscosmos' Sergey Prokopyev, the current crew of the ISS who'll use the Soyuz to return to Earth on December 20.

The accident in October was the first aborted crew launch for the Russian space program since 1983, when two Soviet cosmonauts safely jettisoned after a launch pad explosion.

Crew commander Kononenko, 54, said during a press conference on the eve of the launch that "risk is part of our profession".

Trump praises Roger Stone's 'guts,' slams former lawyer for cooperating with Mueller
" Nice to know that some people still have 'guts!' " Trump wrote on Twitter, highlighting Stone's loyalty to the president. Eisen cited that under the statute it is illegal to "cause or induce any person to withhold testimony".

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

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine meanwhile thanked the USA and Russian teams "for their dedication to making this launch a success".

The Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft lifts off on Monday.

Among the dozens of experiments the new crew members will be involved in is one led by British scientists that will use worms to examine muscle loss in space.

But the space agency's chief executive, former deputy prime minister Dimitry Rogozin, has been bullish about the project, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

McClain served in Iraq and has represented the United States in women's rugby. He recently joked Russian Federation would send a mission to the Moon to "verify" whether or not NASA lunar landings ever took place.

The astronauts are slated to stay on the ISS until July 2019.

He said Ovchinin and Hague would be on board, along with NASA's Christina Koch.

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