MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. A new crew of the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled to dock with the orbital outpost some six hours after the blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on the afternoon of December 3, a spokesperson for Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos told TASS on Monday.
ISS Expedition 58 members Anne McClain of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency are scheduled to take off to the orbital station two weeks on board of Russia’s Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft.
"This expedition’s flight route implies a short scheme," the spokesperson said. "The launch of the piloted Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft, which carries a new expedition, has been scheduled for December 3 at 14:31 Moscow time [11:31 GMT] and its docking with the ISS is expected later in the day at 20:36 Moscow time [17:36 GMT]."
The crew of the ISS Expedition 58 had been initially scheduled to begin the mission in late December, but the date was changed after October 11 abortive launch of Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft, carrying to the ISS Russia’s cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague.
Cosmonaut Ovchinin and US astronaut Hague were to dock with the ISS on October 13, which meant two days after the take-off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The crew of Expedition 58 is now expected to take the so-called ‘short route’ and dock with the ISS on the same day after the blast-off, exactly in a six-hour time.
A Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with a manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft blasted off from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome to the International Space Station (ISS) on October 11. On board the spacecraft were Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin (the commander of the Soyuz MS-10) and NASA astronaut Nick Hague.
Following a smooth liftoff, the Soyuz’s booster malfunctioned between the first and second stages of separating, whereupon the crew was forced to abort the flight and switch to ballistic descent. The manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft ended up landing in the Kazakh steppe.
The press office of Russia’s Central Military District reported that rescuers recovered the crew from the descent capsule. Later, the crewmembers were examined and found to be in good condition. After their medical check-up in the town of Baikonur, the astronauts were transported to Moscow.
This was the first emergency landing with this type of carrier rocket over the past 35 years.
NASA astronaut Nick Hague, who returned to Moscow from the Baikonur spaceport on October 12 after the Soyuz booster’s failure, flew to the United States on October 13.
As the emergency commission announced on November 1, the incident occurred after the nozzle lid of the oxidizer tank did not open due to the deformation of the stages’ separation contact sensor. The sensor was deformed during the assembly of the ‘package’ of the rocket’s first stage at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.