Russian Federation blames rocket failure on mistake during assembly

Mindy Sparks
November 1, 2018

A Russian cosmonaut and US astronaut were forced to abort their mission on October 11 and perform an emergency landing after a launch accident that Roscomos said was caused by a faulty sensor.

They had initially been scheduled to land on December 13 after their stint on the ISS, a joint project of the space agencies of America, Europe, Russia, Japan and Canada.

After their investigation, Russian officials are actually planning to move up the next crewed launch from mid-December to early December to ensure a continued human presence on the station.

The Soyuz-FG rocket carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin failed shortly into the October 11 flight, sending their emergency capsule into a sharp fall back to Earth.

The executive director of the Russian space agency said today its investigation found the failure was caused by a malfunctioning sensor.

The current three-person crew aboard the space station may return home on December 20, Krikalyov was quoted as saying.


Last week, Russian Federation successfully launched a Soyuz rocket for the first time since the failure.

Krikalev said the next launch will now be moved forward to December 3, and will carry the same crew as originally intended on this mission, MS-11: Russian Oleg Kononenko, American Anne McClain, and Canadian David Saint-Jacques. That crew includes Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos.

In the first official report on the cause of the October 11 accident, Roscosmos said a sensor that indicated the separation of the first two stages of the rocket malfunctioned.

Speaking at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Krikalev said the sensor in question "should signal the removal of the first rocket stage from the second".

Because of the sensor failure, a side block of the first rocket stage separated incorrectly, impacting the second-stage fuel tank, which then exploded.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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