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A Russian Official Said the Soyuz Rocket Failure Was Due to Sensor Error

The official report on the reason behind the failure of Soyuz Rocket will not be released until Thursday. Still, a Russian official has managed to disclose the report’s main conclusion a day before. The Executive Director of manned programs for Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos is Sergei Krikalev. He said that a sensor, which remains on board the rocket failed to signal the separation of the first and second stages properly. Due to this reason, one of the rocket boosters did not correctly separate from the vehicle and collided with the rocket. That collision triggered an immediate abortion of one of the abort systems of Soyuz. Hence it pulled the crew having NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut, Aleksey Ovchinin safely out from the rocket and send on a ballistic return to Earth. The Russians have conducted a rapid investigation of the failure, which took place on 11th October and concluding within three weeks. Soyuz spacecraft is presently the only means through which NASA, Russia and their international partners have to get people to and from the station.

Once the investigation gets over, the officials from Russia plan to move up the next crewed launch from mid-December to early December. Then they want to ensure a constant presence of human beings on the station. The space station can operate autonomously for quite some time. Still, if some critical thing breaks up and no astronauts are on board to fix the problem, then that could severely damage the station or it can even get lost. The Executive Director, Krikalev said that the next launch will be on 3rd December and will carry the same crew as was originally intended on this particular mission, MS-11. He ensured that the problems related to the Soyuz rocket would be fixed.

The officials of NASA have consistently said that they do have full confidence in the investigation carried out by Russians along with the Soyuz rocket and spacecraft. One thing is quite strange that a far more cautious US space agency will suffer a total rocket failure in October and then go on to fly human beings on the same rocket in less than two months time.

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