The Expedition 58 crew launched successfully earlier today. Image Credit: NASA
The crewed mission is the first since October, when two astronauts were forced to make an emergency landing.
Today's launch, which took place in Kazakhstan, was met with equal parts optimism and trepidation as astronauts from Russia, the US and Canada soared in to the heavens aboard a Soyuz rocket for the first time since a technical fault resulted in the last mission being aborted two months ago.
"Risk is part of our profession," said crew commander Oleg Kononenko. "We are psychologically and technically prepared for blast-off and any situation which, God forbid, may occur on board."
October's failed launch had cast serious doubt over whether it would be possible to get astronauts up to the International Space Station at all given that NASA's own manned spaceflight solution will not be ready for some time and the Russian Soyuz is currently the only available option.
There was even the possibility of having to put the station on autopilot after its current crew returned.
Thankfully though, this morning's mission went without a hitch and the three new crew members are expected to reach the orbital outpost within the next few hours.
Source: BBC News | Comments (1)