Published: Fri, November 02, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

Cause of Soyuz-FG Launch Failure Revealed - Probe Commission

Cause of Soyuz-FG Launch Failure Revealed - Probe Commission

"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.

Just yesterday the Russian space agency Roscosmos revealed that it has completed its investigation into the failure of its Soyuz rocket on a recent launch that was supposed to send two crew members to the International Space Station.

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

Thankfully, the two men on board, Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin, survived without injury and landed on the ground in Kazakhstan.

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Igor Skorobogatov, who headed the inquiry, said on Thursday that the issue was linked to the "deformation" of a sensor part.

The video released by space agency Roscosmos from the vessel's onboard camera on Thursday shows a steady ascent into space being interrupted by a failed booster separation that sends the vessel into a spin.

The failure occurred about 2 minutes after liftoff from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, when one of the Soyuz's four strap-on boosters (the one known as Block D) failed to separate properly and instead slammed into the rocket's core stage.

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

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Russian Federation 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. Specifically, additional checks were introduced during preparation of the Soyuz 2.1B rocket, which was launched on October 25.

A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying two people failed mid-flight on October 12.

Roscosmos officials on Wednesday met with their counterparts from NASA to give them a full briefing of the incident, Roscosmos director general Dmitry Rogozin said on Thursday.

Roscosmos also said that the crew of the ongoing mission may return home on December 20, TASS reported.

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The incident was the first serious launch problem by a manned Soyuz mission since 1983. 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.

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