Published: Sat, November 03, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Russian Federation blames rocket failure on technical malfunction

Russian Federation blames rocket failure on technical malfunction

An investigation determined that a malfunctioning sensor caused a Soyuz rocket to fail shortly after it was launched in Kazakhstan on October 11, the executive director of the Russian space agency announced.

The spacecraft landed safely near the city of Zhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan.

The crew members, Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and American astronaut Nick Hague, were then recovered in good health from an escape capsule.

The next manned mission to the International Space Station may launch on December 3, state news agency TASS cited Russian space agency Roscosmos as saying on Wednesday.

The chief investigator at Roscosmos, Igor Skorobogatov, said during the press briefing that two other Soyuz rockets could possibly have the same defect and that more checks have been introduced during the assembly process.

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

The malfunction led to one of the four boosters on the first stage failing to detach correctly and colliding with a fuel tank of the second stage, which exploded.

A Russian cosmonaut and US astronaut were forced to scrap their mission on October 11 after a rocket bound for the International Space Station (ISS) failed, sending them plunging back to Earth in an emergency landing.

"The cause of a non-standard separation" was a "deformation" of a part during assembly, Skorobogatov told a news conference at Russia's mission control outside Moscow.

The next human space flight via the Russian Soyuz spacecraft is expected to launch on December 3, the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, announced on Thursday.

The lives of Ovchinin and Hague were protected by an automatic emergency rescue system called SAS.

The crew is set to include Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, who was originally scheduled to fly to the station December 20 on a six-month mission.

Officials said they would suspend manned launches in light of the latest accident.

Skorobogatov said officials are now taking steps, including putting all assembly staff through competence tests and additional training, to make sure such incidents will not happen again.

"Every accident has a name and surname (of the guilty party)", he said.

Like this: