NASA astronauts on Russian Soyuz craft successfully land ISS

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NASA astronaut Nick Hague and his Russian colleague Alexey Ovchinin survived a dramatically aborted Soyuz launch last year.
NASA astronaut Nick Hague and his Russian colleague Alexey Ovchinin survived a dramatically aborted Soyuz launch last year.

New Delhi : Good news! A Russian cosmonaut and two NASA astronauts has successfully stepped inside the International Space Station (IIS) from a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, five months after the failed launch of a rocket carrying two of the passengers.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and his Russian colleague Alexey Ovchinin survived a dramatically aborted Soyuz launch last year. Later, the duo joined the smoothly-executed trip by NASA astronaut Christina Koch.

The Soyuz rocket lifted off from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and docked at the ISS in less than six hours later, more than 400 kilometers (249 miles) above the Earth at 01:01 GMT, a few minutes ahead of schedule.

During a live broadcast via high-definition cameras aboard the ISS, the mission commander Ovchinin reported that the mooring mechanism was engaged. A NASA commentator then confirmed the “capture.”

The liftoff was observed after the two men’s space journey was cut short in October when a technical problem with their Soyuz rocket triggered a launch abort two minutes into the flight. Luckily both the astronauts escaped unharmed. 

Speaking to reporters ahead of their six-month mission, Ovchinin said some faulty components in the launch vehicle had been found and replaced this week.

“Yesterday they found some minor malfunctions,” the 47-year-old said media.

He insisted that the launch vehicle was in good condition.

“There are no problems,” Ovchinin said.

Hague, 43, said he was looking forward to the flight which is his second attempt to get into space.

“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.

It’s worth informing that the International Space Station between Moscow and Washington has been orbiting the Earth at roughly 28,000 kilometres per hour since 1998.