Space station crew confident on eve of first launch since rocket failure

Federico Mansilla
Marcha 15, 2019

Six hours later, they should dock at the space station after completing four orbits of the Earth.

Nasa's Nick Hague and his Russian colleague Alexey Ovchinin were on the rocket when it malfunctioned in mid-air on 11 October.

Photographers take pictures as the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft carrying the crew formed of Aleksey Ovchinin of Russia, Nick Hague and Christina Koch of the US blasts off to the International Space Station (ISS) from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan March 15, 2019.

It is the second manned space mission since the botched October 2018 launch when one of the first stage boosters on a rocket failed around two minutes after the start and the crew were forced to make an emergency landing.

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A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch along with Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as planned from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:14 a.m. Friday (1914 GMT Thursday). The system detached a capsule with the crew from the rocket and sent it back down to the ground on a severe ballistic trajectory.

Speaking at a news conference in Baikonur, Ovchinin said a small fault had been discovered in their Soyuz-FG launch vehicle on Tuesday, but had been fixed.

Mr Hague, 43, added that he was "100% confident in the rocket and the spaceship".

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