- A Soyuz rocket carrying Russian, American and Canadian astronauts took off from Kazakhstan and reached orbit, in the first manned mission since a failed launch in October.
About the Mission:
- Russian space agency Roscomos announced that the capsule was “successfully launched into orbit”.
- It was the first manned launch for the Soviet-era Soyuz since October 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.
- They escaped unharmed but the failed launch — the first such incident in Russia’s post-Soviet history — raised concerns about the state of the Soyuz programme.
- The Soyuz is the only means of reaching the ISS since the U.S. retired the space shuttle in 2011.