A Russian cosmonaut and his NASA co-pilot, five months after riding a dramatic launch abort in October, finally made it in orbit Thursday and, with an NASA astronaut making his first flight, docked at the International Space Station six after some time to boost the crew of the laboratory back to six.
The spacecraft of Soyuz MS-12 / 58S has climbed from Baikonur Cosmodrome to Kazakhstan at 3:14:08 pm ET Friday, almost the moment of rotation of the Earth launched the launch pad – the same used by Yuri Space at the dawn of Space Age – on the station's orbital plane.
Using a quick tracking procedure, Soyuz MS-1
After waiting for the residual motion to damp, the hooks and latches are geared to pull the ferry ship in for a so-called "hard-headed" docking port. The hatches are expected to open about two hours later, after trials to verify an airtight seal and to equalize the pressure between the two spacecraft.
Waiting for the arrival of the new crew was station commander Oleg Kononenko, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques and NASA flight engineer Anne McClain. They were launched on December 3 and had a station on their own since December 19 when a previous Soyuz crew returned to Earth.
The automatic interruption of Soyuzis far from failed rocket. Ovchinin and Hague arrived about 250 miles from the launch site. The problem with the normal trust of Soyuz was quickly corrected, eliminating the road for Kononenko, Saint-Jacques and McClain to get rid of . But downstream flights should be rescheduled.
The Soyuz MS-12 / 58S spacecraft was launched on Thursday originally released in April with commander Oleg Skripochka, cosmaut of United Arab Emirates guest and Koch, who was in training as flight board engineer, or co-pilot. But in the case of abortion, the flight was moved up and Ovchinin and Hague were assigned to join Koch in Hague taking co-pilot paper.
In a pre-launch interview, Koch, an electrical engineer, rock climber and veteran of the Antarctic researcher, said he had no conditions about strapping a Soyuz spacecraft and jumping into space.
"It's a huge machine," he said. "The fact that reliability is so high is something that is strictly considered, and it's a great privilege to train in a spacecraft with a very good record." It is an honor. It's a great spacecraft. "
The expanded six-member crew is facing an unusual first few weeks with the three spacewalks planned at the end of the month to install new solar battery arrays and perform other modifications. upgrade and maintenance The Hague and McClain will conduct the first swap-out excursion on March 22, as McClain and Koch expect to follow the suit after seven days.The Hague and Saint-Jacques will conduct the third EVA on April 8. 
NASA / Roscosmos
Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya was the first woman to walk in space in 1984. Eleven American women followed her footsteps, starting with astronaut Kathryn Sullivan on a shuttle flight in October 1984. McClain and Koch were the thirteenth fourteen to float outside a spacecraft and the first spacewalk team all. NASA originally planned to install the new solar array of batteries in two spacewalks last fall, but the launch of the Japanese HTV-7 cargo ship that brought them to orbit was delayed and the EVAs were postponed to the expected arrival of the Hague last October.
With spacewalks, station crews will have a full record of scientific research and maintenance activities and will dispose of five unlicensed ships of two ships – two Russian Freight Progress, two spaces of the SpaceX Dragon supply and a Northrup Grumman Cygnus cargo capsule.
Kononenko, Saint-Jacques and McClain are expected to return to Earth on June 25 to finish a 203-day mission. Ovchinin, Hague and Koch will have their own station between the coming and July 6 when they receive three new crews: Soyuz MS-13 / 59S commander Alexander Skvortsov, NASA's astronaut Drew Morgan and Italian Luca Parmitano , a veteran of the European Space Agency veteran.
That flight was the last Russian mission to be contracted to bring U.S. astronauts. as NASA transitions to commercial crew crew built by SpaceX and Boeing. SpaceX launches their Crew Dragon spacecraft on a tough flight flight March 2 and may be ready to launch the first astronauts in the mid-summer period.
Hague and Koch are trained for the Crew Dragon and Starliner dockings, milestones Hague says "a really big deal" for NASA, allowing the US space agency to terminate its sole reliance on Russian Soyuz for transportation to and from the space station.
But NASA is the hedging of its bets. The agency is in the process of purchasing two additional Soyuz seats, one for the use of this fall and the other next spring, to ensure that US astronauts may arrive at the station if the commercial crew program runs on important delays.
Ovchinin, Hague and Koch are scheduled to return to Earth on October 3 to finish a 204-day mission.