Dramatic onboard footage captures Soyuz rocket launch failure

Audrey Hill
November 2, 2018

Russian Federation hopes to launch three crew for the International Space Station on December 3, the first manned blast-off since an accident this month, the Roscosmos space agency said Wednesday. "It was damaged during the assembling of the strap-on boosters with the core stage (the Packet) at the Baikonur Cosmodrome".

"We have a number of Russian Soyuz rocket launches in the next month and a half and in December, we're fully anticipating putting our crew on a Russian Soyuz rocket to launch to the International Space Station again", NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said last week.

Russian Federation suspended all launches after the accident on October 11, unprecedented for Russia's post-Soviet manned launches, that saw the rocket fail minutes after blast-off.

They warned that two other Soyuz rockets could be defective, and said additional checks have been introduced.

Russia's space agency has revealed new video footage of the Soyuz rocket failute that forced astonauts to abandon their mission to the International Space Station 50 miles above Earth.

Space Daily carries an Agence France Presse report which said with the cause identified, Roscosmos believes it could conduct a crewed launch well ahead of the ISS's deadline.

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The crew - Nick Hague, a NASA astronaut, and Alexey Ovchinin, a Russian cosmonaut - had their space capsule ejected from the rocket and survived without injury.

Roscosmos has scheduled a press conference for November 1 to further detail the outcome of its investigation.

After about 114 seconds of flight, the emergency escape system sprang into action, separating the crew capsule from the rocket, which then entered "ballistic descent" before parachuting to earth. When the planned separation occurs, two of the three visible portions of the previous stage fall off and away from the spacecraft as they should, but the one on the left side of the video hangs on for an extra moment, tumbling towards the rocket rather than away from it.

Neither man needed medical treatment and NASA TV said both were fine.

"The reason for the abnormal separation. was due to a deformation of the stem of the contact separation sensor.", Skorobogatov told reporters.

Alexander Lopatin, the deputy head of Roscosmos, said that "appropriate law enforcement authorities" will now look into who was responsible for the assembly error. However, the quick return to crewed flights is likely to prove a relief to the global spaceflight community.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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