Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Russian Federation targets Dec 3 date for first manned ISS launch after accident

Sergei Savostyanov  TASS Sergei Savostyanov TASS
Sandy Nunez | 01 November, 2018, 13:41

The Soyuz-FG rocket carrying a NASA astronaut and his Russian crewmate failed two minutes into the October 11 flight, sending their emergency capsule into a sharp fall back to Earth.

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

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.

Sergei Krikalyov, a senior Roscosmos official, was quoted by state news agency Tass as saying the next manned launch had been planned for mid-December, but that Russian Federation was trying to bring the date forward so that the ISS is not briefly left without a crew.

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

The current crew working aboard the ISS since June 6 consists of Sergei Prokopyev of Russia, Serena Maria Aunon-Chancellor of the United States, and Alexander Gerst of Germany.

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The Russian Soyuz spacecraft is now the only vehicle for ferrying crews to the International Space Station after the USA space shuttle fleet retired.

The Canadian Space Agency said it is still awaiting confirmation of details regarding Saint-Jacques' mission.

Aboard the next manned spacecraft will be Canadian David Saint-Jacques, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Agence France-Presse reported.

The Soyuz rocket used to launch astronauts has three stages, or segments.

"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.

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.