Washington, Three astronauts have blasted off
on the first manned Soyuz rocket launch since a dramatic failure in
Astronauts from Russia, the US and Canada left from
Kazakhstan on a mission bound for the International Space Station
October’s aborted trip saw two astronauts forced to make an
emergency landing just minutes after take off.
Investigators blamed a faulty sensor, which they said had been
damaged during assembly at the Kazakh site.
A rehearsal unmanned flight, which delivered cargo including
food and fuel supplies, was successfully carried out in mid-November.
The three-person crew’s mission was originally scheduled for
later this month, but officials brought it forward to avoid the ISS being
left unmanned when its current crew return to earth.
The incident on 11 October cast a spotlight on the safety of
Russia’s space programme, whose fleet have suffered a number of
technical failures in recent years.
Afterward, investigators said they believed other Soyuz models
may have been defective, but said additional checks had been
Nasa made reassurances about their continued co-operation
with and trust in the Russian programme following the incident.
During their mission, members of the crew are scheduled to
embark on a spacewalk to further probe a mysterious hole that caused
a loss of air pressure on-board the ISS in August. Its cause has not yet
been established, but Russian officials have said they believe it was
caused by a drill and may have been deliberate, the BBC news
Source: Oman News Agency