Published: Fri, November 02, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

Russia's Next Mission to ISS May Launch on December 3

Russia's Next Mission to ISS May Launch on December 3

A top Russian official earlier blamed the failure on a malfunction of a sensor but didn't explain why it didn't work.

Russian Federation hopes to launch three crew for the International Space Station on December 3, the first manned blast-off since an accident this month, the Roscosmos space agency said Wednesday.

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.

They landed safely on a steppe in Kazakhstan, but the aborted mission dealt another blow to the troubled Russian space program that serves as the only way to deliver astronauts to the orbiting outpost.

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

The video, which was posted various places including the official Roscosmos Twitter account, shows the rocket launch from the very start all the way to its eventual abort.

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.

"It has been proven, fully confirmed, that this happened specifically because of this sensor, and that could only have happened during the package's assembly at the Baikonur cosmodrome", he said.

The sensor was damaged during the rocket's assembly at the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan, the probe commission head said.

The rocket producer will also take apart two other rockets that have been recently assembled and are due to launch in the coming weeks and then re-assemble them, as they might have the same defect, Skorobogatov said.

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 on the malfunction, Roscosmos director general Dmitry Rogozin said Thursday.

Roscosmos deputy durector Alexander Lopatin noted Thursday that the October 11 accident caused Roscosmos "reputational damage", but noted such incidents were not unique to Russian cosmonautics, and said that accidents are important lessons which must be learned from.

Russia's space agency has revealed new video footage of the Soyuz rocket failute that forced astonauts to abandon their mission to the International Space Station 50 miles above Earth.

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