BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan – A Russian-American crew of three has blasted off to the International Space Station, making a second attempt to reach the outpost after October's aborted launch.
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 (3:14 p.m. ET Thursday). They are set to dock at the space station in about six hours.
On Oct. 11, a Soyuz that Hague and Ovchinin were riding in failed two minutes into its flight, activating a rescue system that allowed their capsule to land safely. That accident was the first aborted crew launch for the Russian space program since 1983, when two Soviet cosmonauts safely jettisoned after a launch pad explosion.
3-2-1… LIFTOFF! 🚀 At 3:14pm ET, @AstroHague, @Astro_Christina and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin launched on a journey to their new home aboard the @Space_Station for a six-and-a-half-month mission. Tune in: https://t.co/sMdhJOnzA3 Ask questions using #askNASA pic.twitter.com/BMtNELZU2I— NASA (@NASA) March 14, 2019
All three crew members are expected to dock at the space station at 8:15 p.m. where they will be greeted a couples hours later by NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko.
Koch and McClain are also scheduled to conduct the first all-female spacewalk later this month.
Check back for updates.