NASA chief says agency plans to launch crew on Soyuz in December

The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft is seen in this false-color infrared image as it launched with Expedition 57 Flight Engineer Nick Hague of NASA and Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, on Thursday, October 11, 2018.

Enlarge / The Soyuz MS-10
spacecraft is seen in this false-color infrared image as it
launched with Expedition 57 Flight Engineer Nick Hague of NASA and
Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, on Thursday, October
11, 2018. (credit: NASA)

Less than
two weeks ago
, a Soyuz rocket took off with a Russian cosmonaut
and a NASA astronaut riding in a Soyuz capsule. The launch
proceeded normally for about two minutes until the rocket
experienced a problem, and one of the Soyuz’s emergency escape
systems fired automatically and pulled the crew vehicle away from
the booster. After a few seconds of rapid acceleration, the crew
capsule carrying Aleksey Ovchinin and Nick Hague made a relatively
normal, safe return to Earth.

In the wake of the accident, NASA officials expressed confidence
in the ability of the Russian space agency to identify the problem
with the Soyuz rocket and implement a fix. “It’s my speculation
that they will put a lot of resources into trying to understand
exactly what happened,” Kenny Todd, the International Space
Station’s mission operations integration manager, said at the time.
“I would anticipate that they would try to do that sooner rather
than later.”

Russian officials
have said
that they intend to complete their investigation of
the Soyuz failure by the end of October, and their report will
include recommendations on how to fix the problem. Anonymous
sources quoted in Russian
media
say the problem occurred because one of the Soyuz
rocket’s side-mounted boosters was improperly attached to the
rocket core. This booster struck the core when it was supposed to
fall away during launch, triggering a launch abort.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
NASA chief says agency plans to launch crew on Soyuz in December