Cargo ship launch clears way manned mission to space station

Cargo ship launch clears crewed mission to space station

The rocket took off from Baikonur, in Kazakhstan, on November 16 carrying essential supplies to the ISS that will prepare it for the station's next mission.

The Progress MS-10 is expected to dock at the ISS on November 18, Russia's space agency said.

On October 11, the last manned mission to the ISS was abruptly cut short two minutes after liftoff when the Soyuz-FG rocket failed, forcing a Russian cosmonaut and USA astronaut to perform an emergency landing.

The faulty sensor "was damaged during the assembling of the strap-on boosters with the core stage (the Packet) at the Baikonur Cosmodrome", according to Oleg Skorobogatov, the Central Research Institute of Machine Building deputy director general and head of the investigation committee.

And Russia has already marked a successful return to flight with its Soyuz rocket on October 25, launching a satellite for the Russian military.

"The mission control centre has completed the work set out for the launch of the Progress MS-10 cargo vessel".

On board the spacecraft were Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin (the commander of the Soyuz MS-10) and NASA astronaut Nick Hague.

Progress is carrying about 2.5 tons of supplies, including water, food and fuel.

The supplies will be greeted by the three astronauts now living and working aboard the orbiting laboratory: NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev.

"The teams chose to wait another day for launch after assessing continuing unfavourable weather conditions, including high winds and high seas, forecast for Friday morning", said a statement from Northrop Grumman, which operates the Antares rocket.

Speaking Thursday at the Star City space training center outside Moscow, McClain voiced confidence in the Soyuz despite October's aborted launch. "I think what we learned from the inside in October was how safe this rocket was".

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