Russian Federation targets Dec 3 date for first manned ISS launch after accident

  • Russian Federation targets Dec 3 date for first manned ISS launch after accident

Russian Federation targets Dec 3 date for first manned ISS launch after accident

The executive director of the Russian space agency said today its investigation found the failure was caused by a malfunctioning sensor.

Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Wednesday it hopes to resume manned missions with a three-person launch to the ISS on 3 December.

A Russian cosmonaut and US astronaut were forced to abort their mission on October 11 and perform an emergency landing after a launch accident that Roscomos said was caused by a faulty sensor.

"This is the first launch of a rocket from the Soyuz family since the October 11 accident", Russia's space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Twitter.

Krikalev said the next launch will now be moved forward to December 3, and will carry the same crew as originally intended on this mission, MS-11: Russian Oleg Kononenko, American Anne McClain, and Canadian David Saint-Jacques. They are due to return to Earth around December 20. The current space station crew - NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Russian Sergei Prokopyev and German Alexander Gerst - was scheduled to return to Earth in December after a six-month mission but will have to stay there for at least an extra week or two to ensure a smooth carry-over before the new crew arrives in early December.

The satellite launch had originally been planned for October 19 but was postponed after the accident.

Officials believe the sensor's failure caused a booster rocket from the first stage to malfunction and hit a fuel tank, which led to the loss of stabilisation and the emergency landing. The Soyuz-FG lunch failure occurred due to the failure of a lid of nizzle disengaging a side block from the central one, Oleg Skorobogatov, the head of the commission, said Thursday. The first stage with four boosters is used to blast the rocket into the sky, before falling back to Earth, as the second and third stages continue the journey.

The findings of an official investigation into the incident were presented at a press conference on Thursday.

About 90 seconds into the rocket's flight, the United States space agency Nasa reported a problem with the booster rocket between the first and second stages of separating.