Russian spacecraft returns to space a month after the accident in October that necessitated an emergency abort.
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An unmanned, cargo-laden Soyuz-FG rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday for the first time since a launch accident in October. The rocket left Earth carrying a Progress MS-10 spacecraft at 11:44 PM IST. The Progress MS-10 spacecraft will take nearly 48 hours to reach the International Space Station, upon which it will deliver fuel, oxygen, water, and scientific equipment to the crew on-board.
The Soyuz accident that happened on October 11 forced Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague to abort launch ninety seconds after blast off. Fortunately, the two spacemen landed unharmed 500 kilometres north-east of Baikonur, near the Kazakh city of Dzhezkazgan, experiencing g-forces of 6.7 g during the return fall.
The accident was the result of a malfunction in the rocket during the booster separation process. “The search and recovery teams reached the Soyuz spacecraft landing site and reported that the two crew members, Nick Hague of NASA and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, are in good condition and are out of the capsule. The crew returned via helicopter to Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Roscosmos is forming a state commission to investigate today's Soyuz launch incident.” NASA had stated then in a blog post.
The Progress MS-10 spacecraft is expected to dock with the International Space Station by 1:00 AM on Sunday. It will remain docked with the space station till March 2019. The first manned mission since the accident is expected to take place early December.
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