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3 astronauts blast off to space station

Successful launch follows October's aborted mission

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BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan – Three astronauts have blasted off to the International Space Station, a successful launch that follows October's aborted mission.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos lifted off as scheduled at 5:31 p.m. Monday from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

A Soyuz-FG rocket carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin failed two minutes into its flight on Oct. 11, activating an automatic rescue system that sent their capsule into a steep ride back to Earth. A Russian investigation attributed the failure to a sensor that was damaged during the rocket's final assembly.

Since the mishap, four successful Soyuz launches have been conducted to clear the path for the crew's launch.