Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Soyuz Rocket Successfully Docks at ISS, Met by Jubilant Astronauts

Anne McClain Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos and David Saint Jacques          NASA  Victor Zelentsov Anne McClain Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos and David Saint Jacques NASA Victor Zelentsov
Frank Williams | 07 December, 2018, 18:21

The 48-year-old doctor and astronaut lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan this morning aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket with NASA astronaut Anne McClain and cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos. She offered Saint-Jacques a "Bravo, bravo, bravo" and told the space station crew they were an inspiration for humanity.

"We have confirmation of the spacecraft separation; Soyuz capsule and crew safely in orbit", NASA TV said online in its blow-by-blow commentary of the take-off.

The 3 astronauts had assured on Sunday that they were "prepared" and had "confidence" in the success of the takeoff. Kononenko, 54, said during a press conference on the eve of the launch that "risk is part of our profession". The Canadian David Saint-Jacques, who was especially happy, sent kisses to the public that came to greet them before the launch.

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. A pair of minutes after takeoff one of the propellers of the 1st stage of the rocket took off and hit the 2nd stage, essentially composed of fuel.

Those plans were expected to change after the Soyuz MS-10 abort, as Al Mansouri would have returned on Soyuz MS-10, with Hague and Ovchinin, after a brief stay on the station had that mission flown as planned.

NASA has confirmed that the three newest crewmembers for the ISS have arrived safely on the space station. This study aims to allow a better understanding of the atrophy that muscles suffer from aging.

Kohli falls as Australia strikes put India on ropes
Paceman Mitchell Starc was one of four Australian bowlers to claim two wickets and said his team was in an excellent position. KL Rahul, who has been struggling for runs, flopped again, caught by Aaron Finch at third slip off Hazlewood for two.

Astronaut Jenni Sidey-Gibbons echoed the message, saying Saint-Jacques was a special role model for her and other young people who may be considering a future in space.

The first manned space mission to the since an unprecedented accident in October, which raised concerns about Moscow's Soviet-designed spacecraft, will launch on Monday.

Russian space officials took measures to prevent the repeat of such a rocket failure. The report also revealed a corruption problem with an equivalent of billions of dollars "stolen" from the Russian space agency.

As Soyuz rockets are now the only means for astronauts to reach the International Space Station, Monday's launch was closely watched.

"We have liftoff", a NASA television commentator said as the rocket roared into the sky under 930 pounds of thrust and at a speed of 1,770 kilometres per hour.

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