m3n4.net
m3n4.net November 21, 2018


Russian Federation blames rocket failure on mistake during assembly

02 November 2018, 12:42 | Brenda Erickson

International Space Station

International Space Station

Skorobogatov said officials are now taking steps, including putting all assembly staff through competence tests and additional training, to make sure such malfunctions don't happen again.

Russia, the only country able to ferry astronauts to the orbiting science lab, suspended all launches after a rocket failed on October 11 just minutes after blast-off -the first such incident in the history of post-Soviet space travel.

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.

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 reassemble them, Skorogobatov said.

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The crew - Nick Hague, a NASA astronaut, and Alexey Ovchinin, a Russian cosmonaut - had their space capsule ejected from the rocket and survived without injury.

An uncrewed Soyuz ISS mission will precede the December 3 liftoff, Russian space officials added today: A Soyuz will launch a robotic Russian Progress cargo ship toward the orbiting lab on November 16. This damage caused the rocket's built-in safety features to initiate an immediate abort before anyone even had a chance to think about it, and the two passengers soon found themselves flying back towards Earth in the crew capsule. When the Soyuz launch failed earlier this month, uncertainty over the ISS crew launch schedule led to speculation that the space station would have to be abandoned, at least for the time being.

The two crew members were then recovered by emergency workers near the Kazakh city of Dzhezkazgan, 400km (250 miles) north-east of the rocket launch site.

The malfunction caused one of the rocket's four side boosters to collide with the second stage of the rocket, Sergei Krikalyov said.

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Neither man needed medical treatment and NASA TV said both were fine.

"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.

Alexander Lopatin, the deputy head of Roscosmos, said that "appropriate law enforcement authorities" will now look into who was responsible for the assembly error.

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

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