Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Aborted Launch Astronauts To Go To Space Next Year: Russia

Cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague at the pre-launch ceremony in Kazakhstan Cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague at the pre-launch ceremony in Kazakhstan
Patty Aguilar | 12 October, 2018, 16:33

Russian news agencies reported that the crew had safely made an emergency landing and were in radio contact and that rescuers were en route to pick them up.

Thursday's dramatic launch abort that returned the crew of Soyuz MS-10 safely to Earth after a still-unidentified booster anomaly was the first time a crewed spacecraft bound for the International Space Station has suffered a mission critical failure.

The Soyuz spacecraft launched today was to be the return vehicle for Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of ESA and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, who were to return to Earth on December 13.

Footage then cuts from the crew to an animation, while the rocket returns to Earth in a ballistic descent mode. Dzhezkazgan is about 450 kilometres northeast of Baikonur. The crew would have experienced very sharp accelerations and decelerations on the return.

"The crew landed", Dmitry Rogozin, director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, said on Twitter.

"I want to start by saying how proud I am of Nick Hague, our astronaut, and his wife Catie", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement.

An interruption would also be disastrous for the research aboard the ISS, as the orbiting station serves as a scientific laboratory. In 1975, a manned Soyuz failed to separate between stages during an ascent and triggered the abort system.

The Russian rocket, bound for the ISS, takes off from the launch pad at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. He added that space crew is trained to endure such load.

"It's like shooting a bullet out of a rifle barrel", said NASA deputy chief astronaut Reid Wiseman during a press briefing.

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Manned space launches have been suspended pending an investigation.

Using various media publications, the Russians have accused the Americans of sabotaging one of the Soyuz capsules to get a sick astronaut back to Earth earlier than expected.

In August, however, the detection of a minute pressure leak on the International Space Station became the subject of intense media speculation in Russian Federation.

There was no immediate word on whether the space station crew might need to extend its own six-month mission.

Most recently, a mysterious hole was detected on the Russian section of the ISS in August, and a Soyuz launch failure destroyed 18 satellites in November 2017. Thursday's accident led NASA officials to acknowledge that they and their partners might need to bring everyone home and hope that the station can function safely with no one onboard, relying exclusively on commands from the ground.

"The Russian Soyuz spacecraft is the only vehicle which is now able to send astronauts to space and bring them home form the International Space Station and it has been doing this for decades".

The aborted mission dealt another blow to the troubled Russian space program that now serves as the only way to deliver astronauts to the orbiting outpost.

Glitches found in Russia's Proton and Soyuz rockets in 2016 were traced to manufacturing flaws.

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