Russia on Monday launched its first manned voyage to the International Space Station since a mission was abandoned midway in October due to a rocket malfunction, Space.com reported. The Soyuz MS-11 rocket, which is carrying three crew members to space, took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The crew members are expected reach the International Space Station at 5.36 pm Greenwich Mean Time (11.06 pm India time) after a six-hour flight. They will stay in orbit for 194 days.
“The spacecraft separated from the third stage of the Soyuz-FG carrier rocket in a normal mode and at the designated time,” TASS quoted Russian space agency Roscosmos as saying.
On October 11, a Soyuz rocket carrying two astronauts – Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague – malfunctioned two minutes after liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The spacecraft quickly fell about 51 kilometres. The astronauts’ capsule separated from the failing rocket and deployed parachutes to descend to earth. According to the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration, an anomaly with the spacecraft’s booster caused the failure.
The two were on their way to join the members of Expedition 57, who are conducting experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the space station.