Russia has successfully launched the first rocket from its new spaceport in Vostochny, Siberia. The facility is said to have cost more than five billion euros.
Even a reliable workhorse like Russia's Soyuz rocket has bad days. Some missions go horribly wrong. So while the basics of rocket science are the same as ever, there are always new contenders to shake things up.
A Soyuz rocket carrying three astronauts is headed for the International Space Station. It is the first liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan since a mission failed in October.
Astro Alex, back on terra firma after nearly six months in space, stressed the importance of protecting our planet for future generations. And as for re-entry, wind and weather feel great after so long in zero gravity.
The Russian space agency has said its Meteor-M satellite was "absent" from its expected orbit after its launch from the new spaceport of Vostochny. The blunder is just the latest to hit the ambitious cosmodrome project.
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