Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques set to launch into space

Mindy Sparks
December 4, 2018

Russian Federation has successfully launched a manned Soyuz rocket into space, two months after a previous launch failed, the country's space agency said on Monday.

USA 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.

Their Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft entered a designated orbit just under nine minutes after the launch and is set to dock at the space outpost in about six hours after making four orbits of the Earth.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine meanwhile thanked the United States and Russian teams "for their dedication to making this launch a success".

The journey to the orbital lab takes six hours, with docking expected at 5.36pm GMT.

A Soyuz-FG rocket carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin failed two minutes into its flight on October 11, activating an automatic rescue system that sent their capsule into a steep ride back to Earth.

They will start from the same launchpad that Yuri Gagarin did when he became the first man in space in 1961. They smiled and waved, with Saint-Jacques blowing kisses and giving the thumbs-up to a crowd of well-wishers.

"Risk is part of our profession", the 54-year-old said at a press conference.

"We are psychologically and technically prepared for blast-off and any situation which, God forbid, may occur on board".

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques set to launch into space
Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques set to launch into space

McClain, a 39-year-old former military pilot, said the crew looked forward to going up. "We feel very ready for it", she said.

Saint-Jacques has spent years training for the six-month mission, which was originally scheduled for December 20 but was moved up after the aborted Soyuz launch.

A rehearsal unmanned flight, which delivered cargo including food and fuel supplies, was successfully carried out in mid-November.

A Russian investigation attributed the failure to a sensor that was damaged during the rocket's final assembly.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain (from left), Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency successfully blasted into space on Monday morning.

The spacecraft is due to dock at the ISS at 1736 GMT on Monday.

The experiment could pave the way to new treatments for muscular conditions for people on Earth, according to the UK Space Agency.

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


Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER