Soyuz launch failure due to deformation during assembly: Russian official

International Space Station

International Space Station

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 believe that the defective component was damaged during assembly.

The incident, on 11 October, was the first serious launch problem by a manned Soyuz space mission since 1983.

Last week, Russian Federation successfully launched a Soyuz rocket for the first time since the failure.

Referencing findings of an official inquiry into the accident, Skorobogatov said two more Soyuz rockets might have the same defect.

Russian cosmonaut Aleksei Ovchinin and USA astronaut Nick Hague were aboard the capsule bound for the ISS and were unhurt in the incident, according to reports. Its next humans-onboard flight will take place on December 3rd, when Soyuz MS-11 will take three people to the International Space Station.

Krikalev said the next launch will now be moved forward to December 3, and will carry the same crew as originally intended on this mission, MS-11: Russian Oleg Kononenko, American Anne McClain, and Canadian David Saint-Jacques. The space capsule carrying the two men ripped away from the damaged rocket, then plunged back to Earth. As a result, one of the side-mounted rocket boosters did not separate properly from the vehicle and collided with the rocket.

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 Russian space agency Roscosmos immediately launched an investigation into the rocket failure.

"The reason for the abnormal separation. was due to a deformation of the stem of the contact separation sensor.", Skorobogatov told reporters.

"The abnormal separation was caused by the nonopening of the lid of the nozzle meant to separate aside Block D oxidizer tank, due to the deformation of the separation sensor pin [which was bent by 6 degrees and 45 minutes]", Roscosmos officials said in a statement today.

Alexander Lopatin, the deputy head of Roscosmos, said that "appropriate law enforcement authorities" will now look into who was responsible for the assembly error. It's relied upon by NASA, Europe, Russia, and other partners.

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

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