They had to join the international space station. On October 11, Nick Hague and Alexei Ovtchinine have been ejected automatically from the tower to rescue their rocket two minutes after take-off of their Soyuz rocket. The two astronauts returned to the Earth and a commission of inquiry was launched. It comes to make its findings.

This establishes that the malfunction is due to “the deformation of the rod of the sensor” during his “assembly at Baikonur cosmodrome”. According to one of the leaders, Oleg Skorobatov, this city remains “the only place where this could take place”. He said, “rule out” the hypothesis that these problems can come from the plant where they were manufactured, and calls for a “control repeated” sensors.

defects in manufacture and design

This launch failed, illustrates the continuing challenges of the space industry of the Russian, which is yet the pride of the country. Corruption, in particular in the construction of the new Russian cosmodrome of Vostotchny, is highlighted. But defects in manufacturing and design have also been identified, for example in the loss of a cargo spacecraft Progress December 2016 following which the authorities had conducted the recall of the engines of the launcher Proton.

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Russian officials, who spoke on Thursday have promised to punish those found guilty of this new failure is embarrassing, and ensure that the qualifications of the personnel of the cosmodrome. “We recommend to re-apply for the qualification tests for the staff of the Baikonur cosmodrome, although it is experienced, by organising information sessions”, said Dmitry victory over.

another manager, Alexandre Lopatine, said that the findings of the commission of inquiry “were sent to forces of the order”: “there is a name and a surname for any accident.” Dmitry victory over, responsible for the company RKK Energia, which designs and produces the spacecraft, Soyuz, has however assured that the Soyouz rockets remain the “rockets of the most reliable” existing.

The next rockets will be reviewed

The crash of the Soyuz rocket, on the 11th of October, is the first failure of a manned flight with a Soyuz for more than 35 years. In addition, the security system that allowed the return unscathed of the two astronauts, Nick Hague and Alexei Ovtchinine, worked perfectly.

Oleg Skorobatov said on Thursday that the next rocket Soyuz to take off from Baikonur and the cosmodrome French Kourou (French Guyana), where Arianespace uses, will be “revised”. The two flights affected by these revisions are scheduled for November 7th from Kourou, where Arianespace will launch a weather satellite, and on the 16th of November from the Baikonur cosmodrome, where a cargo spacecraft Progress must go to the ISS.

And on Wednesday, the director of Roskosmos announced that the next manned flight to the ISS would likely be advanced to 3 December. He will carry the Russian Oleg Kononenko, astronaut american Anne McClain and an astronaut canadian David Saint-Jacques.

Read our complete file

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Their early arrival would be a relief for the three current occupants of the station, left alone in orbit at 400 kilometers altitude, while Russia had announced the disruption of flights of the rocket Soyuz the time to identify the causes of the failure.

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