A Russian spaceship with Russian and American crews launched for the space station Monday. Officials had delayed the launch for two months following the crash of an unmanned vessel, the Washington Post reported.
The unmanned crash in late August consisted of a rocket carrying supplies to the space station, according to a CNN report. The cargo vessel crashed in Siberia two days before it was due to arrive at the station.
The engine system's erratic functioning and its subsequent breakdown occurred during the operation of the third stage at the 325th second of the flight of the Soyuz-U carrier rocket with the Progress M-12M resupply vehicle, Roscosmos said in a statement after the crash was discovered, according to CNN.
NASA had earlier said that if a crew could not be launched by mid-November, the station could be left abandoned for the first time in more than a decade, TIME magazine reported.
The International Space Station is designed to facilitate scientific research and continue space exploration. It is maintained by the five major space agencies of the United States, Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan. Assembly began on the station in 1998.
Russian officials have said the cargo vessels crash was because of a manufacturing flaw. TIME reported. One of the Russians aboard Monday's launch, Anton Shkaplerov, said the earlier problems were not on the minds of the men launching today.
We have no black thoughts and full confidence in our technology, he said before he boarded the ship, according to TIME.
The shuttle is scheduled to arrive at the station Wednesday, the New York Times reported. The crew will conduct experiments and launch the new Falcon 9 rocket, according to the Times.
There is another launch scheduled for December to bring the staff on the station up to the normal 6, according to TIME.