North Carolina astronaut boards International Space Station

Astronauts to make 2nd attempt to get to space station after launch aborted in October

A Soyuz MS-12 rocket has taken off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying a Russian cosmonaut, Alexey Ovchinin, and two United States astronauts, Christina Hammock Koch and Nick Hague to the International Space Station (ISS).

Three new crewmembers will join the International Space Station this week, launching today in a Soyuz vessel from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:14 p.m. EDT.

Two of the crew members - NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin - tried to launch on a Soyuz in October, but it failed in mid-flight.

Speaking at a news conference in Baikonur, Ovchinin said a small fault had been discovered in their Soyuz-FG launch vehicle on Tuesday, but had been fixed.

Hague, Koch and Ovchinin docked to the space station's Rassvet module at 9:01 p.m. 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.

In addition to carrying out science experiments in the fields of biology, physics, medicine and more, Hague and his fellow crew members will also help dock and unload several cargo shipments, as well as perform a handful of spacewalks to fix and upgrade the station's orbital laboratory.

McClain, Saint-Jacques, and Kononenko are scheduled to return to Earth in June, while Ovchinin, Hague, and Koch aren't set to leave the station until early this fall.

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This, five months after the failed launch that carried two passengers. Their lives were protected by an automatic emergency rescue system called SAS.

"I'm 100 percent confident in the rocket and the spaceship", he said.The October abort was caused by a sensor damaged during the rocket's assembly.

Koch will serve aboard the International Space Station as a flight engineer for Expedition 59 and 60.

NASA and Roscosmos praised the crew's valor and composure in the aborted launch and promised to quickly give them a second chance into space.

"The mission we're doing is so important", Hague said.

This will be one of the last trips NASA astronauts make to the ISS via Russia's Soyuz spacecraft.

NASA, however, is counting on SpaceX and Boeing to start launching astronauts this year. They made it to the Space Station Friday in just six hours.

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