This afternoon, three astronauts are slated to launch on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from Kazakhstan, sure for the Worldwide Area Station. For 2 of the three crew members, it’s a second likelihood, after a disastrous rocket malfunction minimize brief their final flight into area.

The trio launching at the moment contains NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Nick Hague, together with Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin. Hague and Ovchinin have been slated to fly to the Worldwide Area Station on October 11th, on the identical model of the Russian Soyuz car they’re taking at the moment. However simply two and a half minutes into the flight, the Soyuz rocket that launched the 2 astronauts was destroyed when a facet booster slammed into the rocket.

Thankfully, the Soyuz capsule carrying Hague and Ovchinin shortly began its emergency abort sequence and separated from the decaying rocket about 31 miles up. It then carried out what is named a ballistic descent, a touchdown that’s a lot steeper than your common return journey from area. After pulling a number of additional Gs, Hague and Ovchinin landed safely again on Earth, utilizing the Soyuz capsule’s parachutes.

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Hague and Ovchinin greeting their households after the failed launch.
Picture by Invoice Ingalls / NASA

After their journey to the station was minimize brief, NASA and Russia’s state area company, Roscosmos, determined to offer the 2 flyers a second likelihood and assigned them to at the moment’s flight with Koch. The Soyuz mannequin that failed additionally shortly returned to flight a month later and even launched a crew of three to the area station safely in December.

Koch, Hague, and Ovchinin are slated to reside on the station for as much as six months earlier than returning this summer season. This would be the first time to orbit for Koch and Hague (not counting his botched flight) and the second time for Ovchinin (additionally not counting the October flight). They’ll be becoming a member of NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, who’ve been residing on the ISS for over three months. Whereas on board, Koch and McClain are slated to conduct the primary all-female spacewalk on the finish of March, finishing upgrades on the area station’s energy channels, in keeping with NASA.

In the present day’s launch is scheduled for 3:14PM ET out of Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. As soon as the Soyuz reaches orbit, the crew will keep there for about six hours earlier than rendezvousing and docking with the ISS at 9:07PM ET. NASA plans to cowl every occasion, with launch protection beginning at 2PM ET and docking protection beginning at 8:45PM ET. Then round 10:30PM ET, the crew will open the hatch and enter the ISS. Test again this afternoon to see Hague and Ovchinin attempt for spherical two.


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