The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-11 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.
The families of the crew, other astronauts and space officials from several nations breathed a sigh of relief Monday after observing the flawless launch, with October's rocket failure still on the minds of many.
The accident in October was the first aborted crew launch for the Russian space program since 1983, when two Soviet cosmonauts safely jettisoned after a launch pad explosion.
Three astronauts successfully blasted off Monday to the International Space Station from Kazakhstan, a ideal launch that follows October's aborted mission.
The three new space travellers - Anne McClain of NASA, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Oleg Kononenko of Russian space agency Roscosmos are preparing to launch aboard the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft at 5.31 p.m. from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan. They will also conduct a number of scientific experiments in remote sensing of Earth and low-gravity biology.
European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst, NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor and Sergei Prokopyev of Roscosmos were set to greet the trio on arrival at the ISS.
SpaceX rocket launch carrying 64 satellites in massive rideshare mission
The company tweeted that it's "working toward a backup launch opportunity on December 3", after it conducted additional tests. First, it was SpaceX's 19th launch of the year, topping its previous annual record of 18, which was set last year.
The launch comes after a Soyuz rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and United States astronaut Nick Hague failed on October 11 just minutes after blast-off, forcing the pair to make an emergency landing.
"We have confirmation of the spacecraft separation; Soyuz capsule and crew safely in orbit", NASA TV said online in its blow-by-blow commentary of the take-off.
A Russian investigation attributed the failure to a sensor that was damaged during the rocket's final assembly.
Three astronauts were on board Monday for the launch.
The launch of the rocket will be observed by the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of NASA's manned flights department, William Gerstenmayer, and the governor-general of Canada, Julie Peyette (former astronaut of the Canadian Space Agency).
Payette, who completed missions to the space station in 1999 and 2009, says the most risky moments come immediately following the launch as the rocket passes through several "critical zones" on its way into space.