While the Soyuz rocket has already flown in unmanned condition several times since its failure to put the Soyuz MS-10 crew into orbit earlier this year (the crew escaped safely), it had yet to fly humans since. This has now changed. A Soyuz FG successfully launched a crew of three – 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 low Earth orbit their Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft on 3 December 2018. The lift off at 1131 GMT was from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, near Tyuratam, Kazakhstan. After a six hour, four orbit transit, the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft docked with the International Space Station’s Poisk module at 1733 GMT on the same day and the crew transferred to join their three other colleagues on the station.
- Ovzon adds SSL construction order to its Falcon 9 launch booking
- OneWeb reduces constellation size from 900 to 600 satellites
- Rocket Lab Electron launches NASA’s multi-cubesat mission
- Virgin Galactic claimed as having achieved “spaceflight” with SpaceShipTwo – but we will stick with the Karman line thank you
- On a lighter note: Some amusing “seasons greetings” from the rocket mob
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