STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS & USED WITH PERMISSION
Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques captured this view of the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft before docking Thursday. Credit: David Saint-Jacques
A Russian cosmonaut and his NASA co-pilot, five months after riding out a dramatic launch abort last October, finally made it into orbit Thursday and, along with a NASA astronaut making her first flight, docked with the International Space Station six hours later to boost the lab’s crew back to six.
Under a cloudy sky, the Soyuz booster roared to life and climbed away from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:14:08 p.m. EDT (12:14 a.m. Friday local time), roughly the moment Earth’s rotation carried the launch pad — the same one used by Yuri Gagarin at the dawn of the Space Age — into the plane of the station’s orbit.
Using a fast-track rendezvous procedure, Soyuz MS-12/58S commander Alexey Ovchinin, left-seat flight engineer Tyler “Nick” Hague and astronaut Christina Koch caught up with the lab complex after a four-orbit chase, moving in for an automated docking at the Earth-facing Rassvet module at 9:01 p.m.
After waiting for residual motion to damp out, hooks and latches engaged to pull the ferry ship in ...