Russian crew blasts off to International Space Station

15 Mars, 2019, 03:20 | Auteur: Therese Cote

The Soyuz MS-12 took off at 1914 GMT, as planned, and is due to bring Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and USA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch to the International Space Station around eight hours later.

Nasa's Nick Hague and his Russian colleague Alexey Ovchinin were on the rocket when it malfunctioned in mid-air on 11 October.

Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and US astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch are due to blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 00:14 local time on March 15 (1514 EDT on March 14).

A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch along with Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as planned from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:14 a.m. Friday (1914 GMT Thursday).

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That time, the rocket was forced to make an emergency landing two minutes after take-off because a sensor had been damaged while it was being built. The system detached a capsule with the crew from the rocket and sent it back down to the ground on a severe ballistic trajectory.

It landed hundreds of kilometres north-east of the Baikanour launch site, sparking a major rescue mission.

Speaking at a news conference in Baikonur, Ovchinin said a small fault had been discovered in their Soyuz-FG launch vehicle on Tuesday, but had been fixed. As a result, some components had needed to be replaced.

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