Russia's Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft carrying three astronauts successfully took off for the International Space Station (ISS) and entered the planned orbit Thursday, Russian state space corporation Roscosmos said.
Crew members of the International Space Station (ISS) next mission, Aleksey Ovchinin of Russia, Nick Hague and Christina Koch of the US, pose for a picture during a news conference in Baikonur, Kazakhstan March 13, 2019.
NASA's Christina Hammock Koch, a MI native who grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina, was one of three people on the spacecraft, alongside NASA's Nick Hague and Russia's Alexey Ovchinin. Christina Koch is one of two female astronauts to participate in NASA's all-women space walk.
The problem that prevented Hague and Ovchinin from reaching the ISS seems to have been fixed, as no incidents were reported since.
If you're interested in following the NASA astronauts' mission aboard the station, you can do so on their Twitter accounts: Nick Hague , Christina Koch, and Anne McClain.
As they were gaining speed 1 minute and 24 seconds into the flight, one of the Russian-built Soyuz rocket's four side boosters failed to detach, dooming the launch. The system detached a capsule with the crew from the rocket and sent it back down to the ground on a severe ballistic trajectory.
The October failure was the first aborted launch for the Russian space program in 35 years and only the third in history.
The new mission, Expedition 59, officially began for the crew at the time of docking.
Over the following six hours (which NASA won't broadcast), the Soyuz MS-12 spaceship will try to catch up to the space station.
Ovchinin and Kononenko are planning to go into space on may 29, and NASA astronauts 22 and 29 March and 8 April.
Today's launch happens to fall on Pi Day (3/14) at 3:14 ET.
"Lift off on #PiDay", Hague, who has an aerospace background, tweeted.