Published: Thu, November 01, 2018
Science | By

Russian official says Soyuz rocket failure caused by an errant sensor

Russian official says Soyuz rocket failure caused by an errant sensor

The first manned mission to the International Space Station since a Russian rocket failed to launch successfully earlier this month may take off on December 3, space agency Roscosmos said on Wednesday.

Russia's space agency suspended all manned space launches after an October 11 rocket failure forced a Soyuz capsule with two astronauts on board to make an emergency landing.

The rocket had been transporting two personnel, one Russian and one American, to the International Space Station (ISS) when they had to abort.

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

It was that explosion that caused the briefly-terrifying moment in the live launch video when the crew were briefly shaken around, prior to the capsule returning to land in Kazakhstan.

The head of the Russian space agency earlier blamed the failure on a malfunction of a sensor, but didn't explain why it didn't work.

Presenting the findings of an official investigation into the accident, Igor Skorobogatov told reporters that two more Soyuz rockets may have the same defect and that additional checks were being introduced into the rocket assembly process.

Russian rockets are manufactured in Russia but the final assembly takes place at the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome.

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

It was the third launch of a Soyuz rocket from Russia's northern Plesetsk launch pad this year, the military said.

Krikalyov said the astronauts now on the ISS - Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos-are expected to back on Earth "around December 20".

The current three-person crew aboard the space station may return home on December 20, Krikalyov was quoted as saying.

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

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