Watch the Moment a Damaged Sensor Caused the Soyuz Rocket to Fail

Russia's Mission to ISS May Launch on December 3 Report

Russia's Mission to ISS May Launch on December 3 Report

A top Russian official earlier blamed the failure on a malfunction of a sensor but didn't explain why it didn't work.

Stunning new footage of last month's near-catastrophic Soyuz rocket mishap, released Thursday by Russian space agency Rocosmos, shows the harrowing moment when everything went wrong, just as the rocket escaped the clutches of gravity.

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

Presenting the findings of an official investigation into the accident, Igor Skorobogatov told reporters that two more Soyuz rockets may have the same defect and that additional checks were being introduced into the rocket assembly process.

"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.

Russian Federation suspended all launches after the accident on October 11, unprecedented for Russia's post-Soviet manned launches, that saw the rocket fail minutes after blast-off.

"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."
"It was damaged during the assembling of the strap-on boosters with the core stage (the Packet) at the Baikonur Cosmodrome".

Roscosmos officials on Wednesday met with their counterparts from NASA to give them a full briefing of the incident, Roscosmos director general Dmitry Rogozin said on Thursday. They have been driven to do this because, at present, the Soyuz spacecraft is the only means by which NASA, Russia, and their global partners have of getting people to and from the station.

Russian space officials plan to conduct one more unmanned Soyuz launch from Russia and one overseas before launching a crew to the space station.

Space Daily carries an Agence France Presse report which said with the cause identified, Roscosmos believes it could conduct a crewed launch well ahead of the ISS's deadline. The U.S. companies SpaceX and Boeing are developing astronaut taxis under multibillion-dollar NASA contracts, and both vehicles are scheduled to make their first crewed test flights in the middle of next year.

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