Roscosmos "Concerned" Over NASA Commercial Crew Program The Russian space agency dispelled doubts about its space program after it had successfully launched astronauts from the Baikonur Cosmodrome to the orbiting outpost on Monday, Dec. 3.
Their Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft launched from the Russian-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday at 5:31pm (1131 GMT; 6:31 am EST) then entered a designated orbit just under nine minutes later.
In addition to Kononenko, a veteran cosmonaut making his fourth trip to space, the Soyuz carried Anne McClain from the United States and David Saint-Jacques from Canada, both first-time space travelers. In addition, Kononenko and Prokopiev 11 December will be released into outer space to explore the ship "Soyuz MS-09" where you previously found the hole.
NASA has confirmed that the three newest crewmembers for the ISS have arrived safely on the space station. After the crew checked for leaks, the hatch was opened and they were welcomed aboard the ISS, their home for the next six months.
These crewmembers will be aboard the ISS during the first test flights of the NASA Commercial Crew Program that will see astronauts being able to get into space from the U.S. for the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle fleet, assuming test flights go well.
The trio will stay at the orbital laboratory for the next six-and-a-half months, briefly joining the current crew of Expedition 57, Nasa's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Commander Alexander Gerst and Roscosmos's Sergey Prokopyev.
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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denied that Russia was out of compliance with the treaty. If Russia failed to comply, the US would consider the treaty to be null and void.
It was the first manned launch for the Soviet-era Soyuz since Oct 11, when a rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and U.S. astronaut Nick Hague failed just minutes after blast-off, forcing the pair to make an emergency landing.
Saint-Jacques has spent years training for the six-month mission, which was originally scheduled for December 20 but was moved up after the aborted Soyuz launch.
That was the first crewed Soyuz failure in decades. The failure was later attributed to a sensor that was damaged during the rocket's final assembly.
They will be joined by the members of Expedition 59 - Alexey Ovchinin of Roscomos with NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Hammock Koch in February.
Since the mishap, four successful Soyuz launches have been conducted to clear the path for the crew's launch.