Russian crew blasts off to International Space Station

Astronauts who survived Soyuz scare ready for new launch despite glitches

A Russian-American crew of three has arrived at the International Space Station (ISS), marking success in the second attempt to reach the craft after an aborted launch in October.

Two astronauts and a cosmonaut launched aboard a Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft to the International Space Station at 3:14 p.m. ET Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz MS-12 took off at 1914 GMT, as planned, and is due to bring Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and US astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch to the International Space Station around eight hours later. Expedition 59 Begins With the successful docking of the Soyuz spacecraft, Expedition 59 is officially underway.

Koch, Hague and Ovchinin's flight was being closely watched for another reason too. The new Soyuz mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled on Thursday, March 14 with USA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch, Nick Hague, and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin.

You can also get news, images, and features from the space station on its Instagram or Twitter. Highlights of these include devices that mimic the structure and function of human organs, free-flying robots, and an instrument that will measure Earth's distribution of carbon dioxide.

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It was originally scheduled to be docked during the orbital sunset, but arrived before the original time. "This will be the first-ever spacewalk with all-female space-walkers". On March 22 and 29, the crew will be installing more powerful batteries for the solar array along with completing other checks and upgrades.

Then, on April 8th, the third spacewalk will be done to lay out jumper cables between the Unity module and the midpoint of the station's backbone in order to establish a redundant power path to the Canadian-built robotic arm (Canadarm2) in order to enhance computer network capabilities.

Koch will return to Earth this fall. The next crew launch to the space station in December went on without a hitch.

An emergency escape system saved Hague and Ovchinin from the doomed rocket. The two men will be joined by U.S. astronaut Christina Koch for lift-off from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1914 GMT.

A global endeavor, 236 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,500 investigations from researchers in 106 countries.

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