3 astronauts blast off to International Space Station

Russian cosmonaut Оleg Kononenko U.S. astronaut Anne Mc Clain and Canadian astronaut David Saint Jacques

Russian cosmonaut Оleg Kononenko U.S. astronaut Anne Mc Clain and Canadian astronaut David Saint

The Soyuz accident in October was the first aborted crew launch for the Russian space program since 1983, when two Soviet cosmonauts safely jettisoned after a launch pad explosion.

The Soyuz rocket's journey to the International Space Station took approximately six hours, and it docked at 12:40 p.m. EST.

Kononenko added that the crew would conduct a spacewalk on December 11 as part of the investigation into a mysterious hole that has caused an air leak on the ISS.

Payette, who completed missions to the space station in 1999 and 2009, says the most unsafe moments come immediately following the launch as the rocket passes through several "critical zones" on its way into space.

Three space travellers, including two astronauts on their first flight, are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday for a six-and-a-half month mission, NASA said.

Russian Federation said last month the launch of the Soyuz rocket failed because of a sensor that was damaged during assembly at the Baikonur cosmodrome, but officials insisted the spacecraft remains reliable.

Three astronauts have blasted off on the first manned Soyuz rocket launch since a dramatic failure in October.

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But the space agency's chief executive, former deputy prime minister Dimitry Rogozin, has been bullish about the project, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

October's aborted trip saw two astronauts forced to make an emergency landing just minutes after take off.

"We are psychologically and technically prepared for blast-off and any situation which, God forbid, may occur on board". Cosmonaut Kononenko said on Sunday, Dec. 2, during a press conference, that he "absolutely" trusts the flight plan.

In recent years Russia's debt-laden space industry has suffered a number of mishaps including the loss of cargo spacecraft and satellites.

The crew will join American Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Germany's Alexander Gerst and Russia's Sergey Prokopyev, all of whom are already living on the orbital station.

Canadian astronauts Bob Thirsk and Jenni Sidey-Gibbons watched the launch of astronaut David Saint-Jacques for the global space station from Kazakhstan at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters Monday, December 3, 2018 in St. Hubert, Que.

Three astronauts have successfully blasted off to the International Space Station from Kazakhstan, a flawless launch that follows October's aborted mission. The trio will return to Earth in October 2019.

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