Published: Thu, November 01, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Soyuz rocket failure caused by damaged sensor, says Russian Federation

Soyuz rocket failure caused by damaged sensor, says Russian Federation

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.

The rocket producer will also take apart two other rockets which have been recently assembled and are due to launch in the coming weeks and then re-assemble them, Skorogobatov said.

The rocket had been transporting two personnel, one Russian and one American, to the International Space Station (ISS) when they had to abort.

Russian cosmonaut Aleksei Ovchinin and United States astronaut Nick Hague were aboard the capsule bound for the ISS and were unhurt in the incident, according to reports.

Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Wednesday it hopes to resume manned missions with a three-person launch to the ISS on 3 December.

The last time Russian Federation saw an aborted manned launch was in 1983, when two Soviet cosmonauts jettisoned and landed safely after a launch pad explosion. They are due to return to Earth around December 20.

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

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What happened during the flight?

All manned missions were put on hold until investigations behind the launch failure were completed - which put UAE's mission to send its first Emirati astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) onboard the Soyuz MS-12 mission on April 5 into question as well. The malfunction caused one of the rocket's four side boosters to collide with the second stage of the rocket, Sergei Krikalyov said.

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. The failed launch involved an older Soyuz-FG rocket, which is "in principle the same rocket" as used in last week's launch but has less engine power in the third stage, space expert Konstantin Kreidenko told AFP.

Igor Skorobogatov, who headed the inquiry, said on Thursday that the issue was linked to the "deformation" of a sensor part.

Russian rockets are manufactured in Russia and then transported by rail to the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome. That crew includes Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos.

Since then, Nasa has paid Russian Federation for seats on its Soyuz rockets to ferry its astronauts to the station.

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