Astronauts Arrive Safely on International Space Station Following Previous Failed Launch

Astronauts Arrive Safely on International Space Station Following Previous Failed Launch

Astronauts Arrive Safely on International Space Station Following Previous Failed Launch

The three travelers, a Russian, an American and a Canadian are on the first manned mission since a failed launch from the facility on October 11.

Russia's space agency Roscosmos has now successfully launched five Soyuz rockets since the incident, and does not believe there is a chance of the failure repeating.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Canadian Space Agency representative David Saint-Jacques and Oleg Konenenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos will spend the next six and a half months in worldwide the space lab.

They will start from the same launchpad that Yuri Gagarin did when he became the first man in space in 1961.

The trio blasted off aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket two months after a similar rocket launched from the same site malfunctioned, forcing astronauts Aleksey Ovchinin and Nick Hague to make an emergency re-entry.

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

The families of the crew, other astronauts and space officials from several nations breathed a sigh of relief after observing the flawless launch, with October's Soyuz rocket failure still on the minds of many.

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques has arrived at the International Space Station.

"We have confirmation of the spacecraft separation; Soyuz capsule and crew safely in orbit", NASA TV said online in its blow-by-blow commentary of the take-off.

Canada's governor general and former astronaut Julie Payette is expected to be among the dignitaries to watch Monday's launch.

Saint-Jacques will be the first Canadian resident of the International Space Station since Chris Hadfield, who was on a five-month mission that ended in May 2013.

"We are psychologically and technically prepared for blast-off and any situation which, God forbid, may occur on board".

On the space station, the crew of NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Russian Sergei Prokopyev and German Alexander Gerst were waiting for their arrival.

October's accident had highlighted the "smart design of the Soyuz and the incredible work that the search and rescue people here on the ground are ready to do every launch", he said.

Russian Federation said last month the October launch had failed because of a sensor damaged during assembly at the Baikonur cosmodrome, but insisted the spacecraft remained reliable.

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