US-Russian crew blasts off to International Space Station

A Russian-American crew of three has blasted off to the International Space Station, making a second attempt to reach the outpost after October’s aborted launch.

A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying Nasa astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch along with Roscosmos’s Alexey Ovchinin, lifted off as planned from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12.14 am Friday (1914 GMT Thursday).

They are set to dock at the space station in about six hours.

On October 11 a Soyuz that Hague and Ovchinin were travelling in failed two minutes into its flight, activating a rescue system that allowed their capsule to land safely.

US astronauts Christina Koch, left, Nick Hague, right, and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin (Dmitri Lovetsky, Pool/AP)

That accident was the first aborted crew launch for the Russian space programme since 1983, when two Soviet cosmonauts safely jettisoned after a launch pad explosion.

- Press Association

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