March 14, 2019 / 7:23 PM / 4 months ago

Russian space rocket lifts off with astronauts who survived rocket failure

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian-made Soyuz rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday, carrying three astronauts into space, two of whom survived a mid-air rocket failure in October.

The Soyuz MS-12 took off at 1914 GMT, as planned, and is due to bring Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and U.S. astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch to the International Space Station around eight hours later.

For Ovchinin and Hague, it is the first flight since an emergency landing two minutes after they blasted off on Oct. 11, 2018.

An investigation showed then that the abortive launch was caused by a sensor damaged during the rocket’s assembly at the cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

This week, Ovchinin and Hague said they were confident this time about reaching the International Space Station, though they said a small fault had been discovered on their rocket during final checks.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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