It will reunite Hague and Ovchinin for a second shot at their Soyuz MS-10 mission, which was foiled when one of the four Soyuz strap-on rockets did not detach properly and impacted the core stage about two minutes after launch.
These crewmembers will be aboard the ISS during the first test flights of the NASA Commercial Crew Program that will see astronauts being able to get into space from the U.S. for the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle fleet, assuming test flights go well. The manned mission was the spacecraft's first since October's forced emergency landing.
The crew will capture Space X's Dragon cargo resupply aircraft in the next few days. Originally this was supposed to be another Russian Alexey Ovchinin.
MOSCOW: The first manned Soyuz flight since a failed launch in October successfully docked at the International Space Station on Monday, Russia's space agency Roscosmos said. At a press conference on the eve of the launch, crew commander Kononenko said the astronauts "absolutely" trusted teams preparing for the flight.
"We are psychologically and technically prepared for blastoff and any situation which, God forbid, may occur on board", the 54-year-old said. Despite the successful launch, the Russian space agency continues to face problems. Roscosmos is the only organization that can ferry astronauts to the ISS so far.
Next year, however, Russian Federation will see intense global competition. The report also revealed a corruption problem with an equivalent of billions of dollars "stolen" from the Russian space agency.
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.
Hague, in post-flight interviews October 16, said he was interested in making another attempt to get to the ISS, but didn't know when that would happen.
Astronaut Hague and cosmonaut Ovchinin will once again attempt to join the ISS crew on February 28, 2019, alongside Christina Hammock Koch.
The crew repeatedly denied being nervous about flying and insisted the fact that the two-man crew had safely returned to Earth despite the dramatic mishap had demonstrated the reliability of the rocket's safety mechanisms.