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

Russia 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

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

Roscosmos' executive director Sergei Krikalyov said Wednesday the probe found that a malfunction of a sensor which signals the jettisoning one of the rocket's four side boosters caused the booster to collide with the second stage of the rocket.

This collision triggered an automatic abort of one of the Soyuz's abort systems, pulling the crew of NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin safely away from the rocket, and sending them on a ballistic return to Earth.

Russian officials believe that the defective component was damaged during assembly.

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.

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.

Two more Soyuz rockets at the Baikonur and Kourou spaceports with the same defect have been discovered, Skorobogatov said, with additional checks introduced into the rocket assembly process. Skorobogatov said the Soyuz's central block was hit "in the fuel tank area, causing a depressurization and, as a result, a loss of the space rocket's stabilization".

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

Also Thursday, the Kremlin confirmed that Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin has kept the president up to date on the situation surrounding the Soyuz-FG incident, and will do so again during his next working meeting with Vladimir Putin.

Three crewmembers will launch toward the International Space Station (ISS) atop a Soyuz on December 3, Russian space officials announced today (Nov. 1).

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. 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 Federation stands to lose that monopoly with the arrival of SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's Starliner crew capsules.

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