Soyuz spacecraft with 3 astronauts successfully docks with International Space Station

Astronauts blast off for first time since aborted mission			
				 
   by Daniel Binns 
  Published

Astronauts blast off for first time since aborted mission by Daniel Binns Published

She had been training with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and Hazza Al Mansouri, who was in line to be the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates to fly in space.

They successfully docked at the ISS on schedule at 1736 GMT to begin an expected six and a half months aboard the ISS, the Russian Roscosmos space agency said via Twitter.

Three astronauts have blasted off on the first manned Soyuz rocket launch since a dramatic failure in October.

US astronaut Anne McClain, centre, Russian cosmonaut Оleg Kononenko, bottom, and CSA astronaut David Saint Jacques, crew members of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, wave as they board the rocket prior to the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.

That's when a rocket failure forced the Soyuz capsule carrying two astronauts to make an emergency landing.

Astronauts from Russian Federation, the U.S. and Canada left from Kazakhstan on a mission bound for the International Space Station at 17:30 (11:30 GMT).

Three astronauts have successfully blasted off to the International Space Station from Kazakhstan, a ideal launch that follows October's aborted mission. They are scheduled to return to Earth on December 20.

Before take-off, a Russian Orthodox priest blessed the flight at the launchpad, splashing holy water and holding up a cross.

Saint-Jacques joked that he had received so much training ahead of the flight "that I felt at the end that I could build a Soyuz in my backyard".

Investigators blamed a faulty sensor which they said had been damaged during assembly at the Kazakh site.

McClain, Saint-Jacques and Kononenko will spend more than six months at the space station doing research and experiments in biology, Earth science, physical sciences and technology. CBC News Network will also broadcast the interactive special featuring Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.

Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, is now the only organisation transporting astronauts to the ISS after Nasa ended its space shuttle flights in 2011.

McClain served in Iraq and has represented the United States at women's rugby.

Russia-US cooperation in space has so far remained one of the few areas not affected by a crisis in ties between the former Cold War enemies.

The launch will be a test for Russia's space industry, which has suffered several high-profile crashes in recent years but remains the only reliable way to deliver crew members to the orbiting station.

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