Russian rocket launch of 3 astronauts to ISS targeted for March 23 after abort

A Russian Soyuz rocket is now scheduled to send three astronauts toward the ISS on Saturday (March 23), two days after a rare abort scuttled its first try.

The rocket was supposed to launch the crewed Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft on Thursday (March 21) from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. That attempt was aborted just 21 seconds before liftoff, however, after some of the rocket’s hardware experienced an unexpected voltage drop.

That problem has now been fixed to the satisfaction of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, which has set liftoff for 8:36 a.m. EDT (1236 GMT) on Saturday. You can watch the action live here at, courtesy of NASA and Roscosmos.

Related: International Space Station — Everything you need to know

The Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft will carry NASA astronaut Tracy C. Dyson, Roscosmos’ Oleg Novitskiy and spaceflight participant Marina Vasilevskaya of Belarus to the International Space Station (ISS).

If all goes according to plan, the trio will arrive on Monday morning (March 25), docking with the station’s Prichal module at 11:09 a.m. EDT (1509 GMT). You can watch that rendezvous here at as well.

Dyson will live aboard the ISS for six months, but Novitskiy and Vasilevskaya will come back to Earth after just 12 days or so. Vasilevskaya, who works as a flight attendant, will break ground on her brief mission, becoming the first Belarusian woman in space.

Three astronauts wave farewell as they prepare to board their Russian rocket.Three astronauts wave farewell as they prepare to board their Russian rocket.

Three astronauts wave farewell as they prepare to board their Russian rocket.


— Soyuz spacecraft: Backbone of the Russian space program

— Leaky Soyuz spacecraft at space station returns to Earth in speedy landing

— Facts and information about Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency

Despite the Soyuz MS-25 abort, a spacecraft still launched toward the ISS on Thursday — SpaceX’s robotic Dragon capsule, which was sent skyward by a Falcon 9 rocket.

Dragon is carrying about 3 tons of food, scientific hardware and supplies to the station on this mission, the 30th that SpaceX is flying to the orbiting lab under its contract with NASA. The capsule is scheduled to dock with the ISS on Saturday at around 7:30 a.m. EST (1130 GMT), about an hour before Soyuz MS-25 lifts off.

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