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Canadian David Saint-Jacques reaches the International Space Station

04 December 2018

The families of the crew, other astronauts and space officials from several nations breathed a sigh of relief Monday after observing the flawless launch, with October's rocket failure still on the minds of many.

It is the first attempt to send astronauts to space after a mission in October that saw two crew members only narrowly escape after being forced to make an emergency landing just minutes after take-off.

Russia's space agency Roscosmos has successfully launched a manned Soyuz rocket carrying astronauts to the International Space Station for the first time since October's aborted mission.

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques is set to blast off in a Russian Soyuz rocket launched from Kazakhstan en route to the International Space Station (ISS).

The agency said that NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin have been assigned to the crew of Soyuz MS-12, the next crewed mission to the ISS, joining NASA astronaut Christina Hammock Koch.

The launch comes after a Soyuz rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and U.S. astronaut Nick Hague failed on October 11 just minutes after blast-off, forcing the pair to make an emergency landing.

On the space station, the crew of NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Russian Sergei Prokopyev and German Alexander Gerst were waiting for their arrival.

The spacecraft is due to dock at the ISS at 1736 GMT on Monday.

"OSIRIS-REx will return the sample to Earth in September 2023". They managed to emerge safely despite the harrowing ordeal.

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.

Three astronauts were on board Monday for the launch.

Russian space officials have taken measures to prevent the repeat of such incidents.

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.

Since the mishap, four successful unmanned Soyuz satellite launches have been conducted.

The trio aboard the rocket will be on the International Space Station for six and a half months before heading back to Earth.

The launch of the rocket will be observed by the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of NASA's manned flights department, William Gerstenmayer, and the governor-general of Canada, Julie Peyette (former astronaut of the Canadian Space Agency).

Canadian David Saint-Jacques reaches the International Space Station