ISS mission blasts off from Baikonur Cosmodrome (WATCH LIVE)

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A Soyuz MS-12 rocket takes off from the Baikonur cosmodrome carrying a Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and two US astronauts, Christina Hammock Koch and Nick Hague to the International Space Station.

It is the second manned space mission since the botched October 2018 launch when one of the first stage boosters on a rocket failed around two minutes after the start and the crew were forced to make an emergency landing.

Ovchinin and Hague were the ones to narrowly escape death during the October incident. Their lives were protected by an automatic emergency rescue system called SAS. The system detached a capsule with the crew from the rocket and sent it back down to the ground on a severe ballistic trajectory. The escape capsule landed 400 km from Baikonur, in the Kazakh steppe. Both men landed safely and suffered no physical injuries at that time.


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