Russia successfully launches manned spacecraft to ISS

MOSCOW, DEC 3– Russia successfully launched the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft Monday with three astronauts on board to the International Space Station (ISS) after a launch failure in October, Russian state space corporation Roscosmos said.

The spacecraft blasted off at 2:31 p.m. Moscow Time (1131 GMT) from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, according to a Roscosmos statement.
Nine minutes later, the spacecraft reached the predetermined orbit.

The crew includes Russian astronaut Oleg Kononenko, U.S. astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques. They are expected to stay on the ISS for six and a half months.
The spacecraft’s journey to the ISS is scheduled to last for about six hours before docking.

On Oct. 11 the capsule of the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft with Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and U.S. astronaut Nick Hague on board made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan after the carrier rocket malfunctioned shortly after lift-off.

Russia then suspended manned space missions but sent a cargo ship to the ISS on Nov. 16.
The current ISS crew consisting of German astronaut Alexander Gerst, Russian astronaut Sergei Prokopyev and U.S. astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor are expected to return to Earth on Dec. 20. – XINHUA