Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Soyuz rocket failure caused by damaged sensor, says Russian Federation

Russian official says Soyuz rocket failure caused by an errant sensor Canadian expected to be aboard Russia's 1st manned space mission since rocket failure
Sandra Phillips | 01 November, 2018, 20:06

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.

Russian officials said during the press conference that they'd created measures to avoid the issue happening again, and that resuming Soyuz launches was a priority.

The Soyuz MS-10 attempts to separates into its second stage about two minutes into its flight and immediately starts spinning out of control.

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 current ISS crew, the ESA's Alexander Gerst, NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, and Roscosmos' Sergey Prokopyev, are expected to return to Earth around December 20, a week after their originally-scheduled December 13 descent. Secondly, it's great to see that the Soyuz rocket's safety abort system works so well, and it should be a great comfort to space travelers who will soon be riding the hardware to space once more.

Krikalyov on Wednesday reiterated Roskosmos's earlier statements saying that the malfunction was caused by a collision of the first and second stages of the rocket during the first stage separation. The space capsule carrying the two men ripped away from the damaged rocket, then plunged back to Earth.

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The Canadian Space Agency, however, told CBC News it did not have any updates on Saint-Jacques's mission.

"The reason found by the commission (investigating the accident) was the abnormal operation of a sensor that signals the separation of the first and second stages", Krikalyov said at a space industry event in Moscow.

Officials believe the sensor's failure caused a booster rocket from the first stage to malfunction and hit a fuel tank, which led to the loss of stabilisation and the emergency landing.

"It has been proven, fully confirmed, that this happened specifically because of this sensor, and that could only have happened during the package's assembly at the Baikonur cosmodrome", he said.

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

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