Welcome Aboard Soyuz Crew! Multinational Trio Launches Safely, Docks Successfully at ISS

A Soyuz booster rocket
launches the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan
on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018 carrying Expedition 58 Soyuz crew to the ISS – as seen
and photographed from the ISS by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst.  
Ken Kremer  SpaceUpClose.com &
RocketSTEM
–3 December 2018


KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – 
The International Space Station (ISS) is back to full strength with a
crew of six astronauts and cosmonauts following Monday mornings (Dec. 3)  safe and critically important launch of the
Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft with three crewmates aboard and successful lunchtime docking
– which thereby fully restores the Russian Soyuz carrier rocket to flight
status after a harrowing failure only two months ago. 



“Welcome to the
International Space Station,
#SoyuzMS11 crew!” tweeted ISS Commander Alexander Gerst, leader of the
Expedition 57 mission. 



“Expedition 57 is at full
count now.”



The high stakes Soyuz blastoff restores the only currently
viable path for humans to reach the space station less than two months after
the prior launch of a two man Russian Soyuz crew in mid-October ended in
failure with a safe emergency abort two minutes after liftoff from Kazakhstan.



The Soyuz MS-11 capsule carrying Anne McClain of
NASA, David
Saint-Jacques
 of the Canadian Space Agency, and Oleg Konenenko of
Roscosmos launched flawlessly at 6:31 a.m. EST,
1131 GMT (5:31 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. 

A Soyuz booster rocket
launches the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan
on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, Baikonur time, carrying Expedition 58 Soyuz Commander
Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos, Flight Engineer Anne McClain of NASA, and Flight
Engineer David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) into orbit to
begin their six and a half month mission on the International Space Station.  Credits: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

6 person crew aboard ISS on Dec 3, 2018 after Soyuz MS-11 spaceship launch and arrival

After a rapid four-orbit, six-hour journey the
US, Canadian, Russian trio of McClain, Saint-Jacques and Konenenko docked to
the space station’s Poisk module at 12:33 p.m. as the ships were soaring 251
miles above Earth. 
After driving home all the bolts and latches and
conducting leak checks to confirm a hard mate, hatches between the two
spacecraft – Soyuz and ISS – were opened two hours later at 2:37
p.m.  


The new trio of 2 rookies and 1 veteran space flyer now begins
a six month stay at the orbiting outpost.
“Congrats
to all international partners for preserving continuous human presence on
Earth’s embassy in space, for more than 18 years now,” tweeted Gerst.  
Meanwhile among theor first duties will be to
assist and greet the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon CRS-16 cargo spacecraft whose
launch slipped a day and is now on track for liftoff Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 1:316
p.m. EST. Space UpClose is covering the launch events at KSC.
The new Expedition 58 trio join the trio comprising
Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of
ESA (European Space Agency) from Germany, NASA Flight Engineer Serena
Auñón-Chancellor
from the US and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Prokopyev from
Russia, who have been in orbit since June. 
This current trio is nearing the end of their
Expedition 57 mission. They are scheduled to depart the station in their Soyuz
capsule just before Christmas on Dec. 20.
Expedition 58 officially begins once the three
departing spacefarers undock from the space station, says NASA.
“The #Exp58 crew is safely in orbit!” tweeted NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
“I’m grateful to Director
General Dmitry Rogozin [Roscosmos] and the entire
@NASA and @roscosmos
teams for their dedication to making this launch a success. Ad Astra!”



Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft approaches ISS 


“Congratulations to the
Russian Space Agency
@roscosmos and all international partners for a
flawless launch of
#SoyuzMS11. And welcome to space, @Astro_DavidS,
@AstroAnnimal and Oleg!” said Gerst.

A Soyuz booster rocket launches the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft from the
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, Baikonur time,
carrying Expedition 58 Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos, Flight
Engineer Anne McClain of NASA, and Flight Engineer David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian
Space Agency (CSA) into orbit to begin their six and a half month mission on
the International Space Station.  Credits: NASA


The last launch of a two person Russian-American
crew on Oct 11 ended in failure two minutes after liftoff with the sudden triggering
of an emergency abort separation of the Soyuz MS-10 capsule from the Soyuz FG
carrier rocket due to a deformed sensor on the core stage.
Both
crewmates comprising
Russian commander Alexey Ovchinin and
NASA flight engineer Nick Hague
survived without injury and excellent health when the Soyuz soft landed
safely by parachute. That was the first Soyuz crew launch failure since 1983.
In the Integration
Facility at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 58 crew members
Anne McClain of NASA (left), Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos (center) and David
Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency (right) pose for pictures Nov. 20,
2018 in front of their Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft. 
Credits:
NASA/Victor Zelentsov

“McClain, Saint-Jacques and Konenenko will spend
more than six months conducting hundreds of science
investigations
 in fields such as biology, Earth science, human
research, physical sciences and technology development, providing the
foundation for continuing human spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit to the Moon
and Mars,” says NASA.
“Some of the investigations they will conduct
are sponsored by the U.S. National
Laboratory
 on the space station, which Congress designated in
2005 to maximize its use for improving quality of life on Earth. Highlights of
upcoming investigations include experiments in forest
observation
robotic
refueling
, and satellite
deployment
.”
Watch for Ken’s
continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin,
Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from the Kennedy Space
Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and Wallops Flight Facility,
Virginia.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science
and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter
@ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist,
journalist and photographer based in the KSC area.
………….

Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Learn more about the upcoming upcoming/recent
SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-16 launch to ISS,  NASA missions, ULA Atlas & Delta
launches, SpySats and more at Ken’s upcoming outreach events at Quality Inn Kennedy Space
Center
, Titusville,
FL, evenings:
Dec
4, 5
: “SpaceX Dragon CRS-16
resupply launch to ISS, SpaceX Falcon Heavy & Falcon 9 launches, upcoming SpaceX
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Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL, evenings.
Photos for sale

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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