Astronauts in successful Soyuz rocket launch two months after aborted mission

Three astronauts have blasted off to the International Space Station, a successful launch which follows October’s aborted mission.

Nasa astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos have begun their six-hour trip to the orbital laboratory.

They lifted off as scheduled on Monday from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

David Saint-Jacques, Anne McClain and Oleg Kononenko en route to the launch pad. Credit: AP

A Soyuz-FG rocket carrying Nasa astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos’ Alexei Ovchinin failed two minutes into its flight on October 11.

They were to dock at the orbiting outpost six hours later - but the booster suffered a failure minutes after the launch.

The astronauts activated an automatic rescue system which sent their capsule into a steep ride back to Earth.

  • Video shows moment of malfunction

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

Since the mishap, four successful Soyuz launches have been conducted to clear the path for the crew’s launch.