Soyuz MS-12 crew enters ISS after docking complete

Rodiano Bonacci
Marzo 15, 2019

Expedition 59 crew members Christina Koch of NASA, Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos and Nick Hague of NASA during pre-launch training. The new Soyuz mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled on Thursday, March 14 with US astronauts Christina Hammock Koch, Nick Hague, and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin.

Originally, Ovchinin and Hague were to arrive on board the ISS in October 2018, but their space mission was aborted shortly after the launch due to a rocket failure.

It was the first such accident in Russia's post-Soviet history and a major setback for its once proud space industry.

Speaking to reporters ahead of their six-month mission, flight commander Ovchinin said that some faulty components in the launch vehicle had been found and replaced this week.

"Yesterday they found some minor malfunctions", the 47-year-old said on Wednesday.

An investigation showed then that the abortive launch was caused by a sensor damaged during the rocket's assembly at the cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Russia's space industry has in recent years suffered a lot of mishaps including the loss of cargo spacecraft and numerous satellites. The trio welcomed the first commercially built capsule - the SpaceX Crew Dragon - to dock with the station in the early hours of March 2.

Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency blasted off to the orbiting outpost in December. Three spacewalks are planned, one of which will mark the first all-female spacewalk with Anne McClain and Christina Koch.

A Jacksonville native is now headed to the International Space Station.

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