Soyuz MS-12 launches with two astronauts and a cosmonaut on a trip to the International Space Station. Photo Credit: Bill Ingalls / NASA
BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan — Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch launched in their Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft to travel to the ISS for a six-month stay.
The trio launched at 12:14 a.m. local time March 15 (3:14 p.m. EDT / 19:14 GMT March 14), 2019, atop a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It was in orbit less than 9 minutes later and will spend the next 6 hours catching up with the ISS to dock at the Rassvet module.
The liftoff was of special interest to the space community at-large, as it was Hague and Ovchinin’s second attempt to reach the ISS after a booster malfunction triggered an emergency abort during their Soyuz MS-10 launch on Oct. 11, 2018.
During that flight, the two men endured a sudden and harrowing ride away from their launch vehicle when one of the four first stage boosters failed to separate properly, damaging the rocket’s main stage. Onboard cameras showed the two men buffeting side to side as their spacecraft screamed away from the ...