Crew from aborted Soyuz mission to get second chance at ISS mission

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NASA astronaut Nick Hague thought he was going to the International Space Station for the first time in October, but a rocket failure put a temporary halt to his dream of living and working in space.

After the hatch opened at 2:37 p.m.

In the Integration Facility at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 58 crew members Anne McClain of NASA (left), Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos (center) and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency (right) pose for pictures November 29 in front of the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft during a final vehicle fit check.

Saint-Jacques and the other two astronauts, from Russian Federation and the U.S., who blasted off with him yesterday will be manning the International Space Station for the next six months, returning to earth in June 2019.

Astronauts Ann McClain, left, Oleg Konoenko, center, and David Saint-Jacques a day before departing for the International Space Station. Eastern, Saint-Jacques and his two crewmates floated in from the docked Soyuz capsule, embracing the astronauts who have been at the space station since June.

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The spacecraft launched at 6:31 am EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch was successful, and the Soyuz spacecraft docked with the ISS at 17:23 GMT.

The new mission will see the three latest crew members on the station for six months conducting hundreds of science investigations. "We feel very ready for it", NASA astronaut McClain said.

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

Astronaut Jenni Sidey-Gibbons echoed the message, saying Saint-Jacques was a special role model for her and other young people who may be considering a future in space.

A few weeks after the accident, the commission of inquiry concluded that there was a "deformation" of a sensor during the assembly of the Soyuz rocket in Baikonur.

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The ISS orbits around the Earth at 28,000 kilometers per hour since 1998.

The launch was closely scrutinised because of the abortive mission to the ISS on October 11, which ended two minutes after take-off when a rocket failure forced its two-man crew to perform an emergency landing.

In March 2019, the station will again return to a full complement of six crew members when they are joined for Expedition 59 by NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos. They are scheduled to return to Earth on December 20.

Kononenko, Saint-Jacques and McClane needs to stay on the ISS 194 days.

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