A Russian Soyuz probe carrying three astronauts, including one American, has successfully docked with the International Space Station. The launch on Monday from Kazakhstan is the first successful manned mission in the space lab since the demise of the Soyuz launch in October.
The Soyuz probe MS-11 docked at 12:33 at the ISS. ET, after a six-hour drive from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. At that time, the space station and spacecraft were 251 miles above the Atlantic, east of the Caribbean.
NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos took off as scheduled at 6:31
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McClain, Saint-Jacques and Kononenko will be for six-and-a-half months.
Expedition 58's three astronauts will briefly gather together with NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency and cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev on the ISS. Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Gerst and Prokopyev are expected to leave the space station on December 20th.
The start of Monday was in the limelight after the botched start of the ISS from Baikonur last month.
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On October 11, NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin succeeded in just two minutes to take the start of a dramatic escape. A Russian investigation attributed the failure to a sensor that was damaged during the final assembly of the rocket.
The accident in October was the crew's first demolition of the Russian space program since 1983, when two Soviet cosmonauts were safely shot down after a launch pad explosion.
The Soyuz spacecraft is currently the only vehicle capable of transporting crews to the space station, but Russia will lose this monopoly in the coming years due to the arrival of the SpaceX dragons and Boeing's Starliner crew capsules.
Associated Press has contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers