Russian official says Soyuz rocket failure caused by an errant sensor

Mindy Sparks
November 1, 2018

Roscosmos immediately set about investigating the launch failure, under time pressure because the current ISS crew had a January deadline to return to Earth.

Russian space officials say they hope to resume sending crews to the International Space Station on December 3 after an October launch failed because of a technical malfunction.

Russia, the only country able to ferry astronauts to the orbiting science lab, suspended all launches after a rocket failed on October 11 just minutes after blast-off -the first such incident in the history of post-Soviet space travel.

Sergei Krikalyov, a senior Roscosmos official, was quoted by state news agency Tass as saying the next manned launch had been planned for mid-December, but that Russian Federation was trying to bring the date forward so that the ISS is not briefly left without a crew. They are due to return to Earth around December 20.

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.

Ovchinin and Hague returned safely back to Earth in their capsule, and are likely get their chance to go to the space station in the spring, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin has said.


The Soyuz-FG rocket carrying a NASA astronaut and his Russian crewmate failed two minutes into the October 11 flight, sending their emergency capsule into a sharp fall back to Earth.

The satellite launch had originally been planned for October 19 but was postponed after the accident.

The Soyuz rocket used to launch astronauts has three stages, or segments.

Krikalyov blamed a "malfunction" of the sensor separating the first and second stages of the rocket for the problem and said that efforts were being taken to ensure the safety of future flights. As a result, one of the side-mounted rocket boosters did not separate properly from the vehicle and collided with the rocket.

Roscosmos is due to hold a press conference Thursday to further detail the findings of the accident probe.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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