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NASA confirmed that "the spacecraft separation; Soyuz capsule and crew are safely in orbit".

Expedition 58 Flight Engineer David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), top, Flight Engineer Anne McClain of NASA, center, and Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos, bottom, wave farewell prior to boarding the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft for launch in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on December 3, 2018.

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying three astronauts has successfully docked with the International Space Station following a launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan six hours earlier.

Canadian astronauts Bob Thirsk and Jenni Sidey-Gibbons watched the launch of astronaut David Saint-Jacques for the worldwide space station from Kazakhstan at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters Monday, December 3, 2018 in St. Hubert, Que. Crate Club is the #1 men's subscription box containing some of the best tactical & survival gear in the nation.

It was the first manned launch for the Soviet-era Soyuz since October 11, when a rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and United States (US) astronaut Nick Hague failed just minutes after blast-off, forcing the pair to make an emergency landing.

"I think I was more anxious today than on a typical Soyuz launch because of the launch abort in October", Thirsk, the first Canadian to fly aboard a Soyuz capsule, said in an interview.

Almost two months after a rocket malfunction forced NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos to abort the launch of a Soyuz mission, a new crew blasted off on Monday for the International Space Station and arrived safe and sound.

ISS Astronauts
Astronauts Anne McClain Oleg Kononenko and David Saint Jacques

"I know that it's something that means a lot to him and his family and the team that got him there", she said.

The incident became the first failure of a manned space launch in modern Russian history.

McClain, Saint-Jacques and Kononenko will spend more than six months doing research and experiments in biology, Earth science, physical sciences and technology.

"We're very few in Canada, they can be counted on the fingers of two hands", she said.

Payette, who completed missions to the space station in 1999 and 2009, knows what to expect during the drama of the launch. The ISS went a crew of three.

The trio aboard the rocket will be on the International Space Station for six and a half months before heading back to Earth.

Investigators blamed a faulty sensor which they said had been damaged during assembly at the Kazakh site. The crew will join American Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Germany's Alexander Gerst and Russia's Sergey Prokopyev, all of whom are already living on the orbital station.

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