NASA to proceed with Soyuz launch despite recent rocket failure

Pablo Tucker
October 17, 2018

A Russian cosmonaut and a USA astronaut survived an aborted liftoff after a Soyuz rocket bound for the ISS failed in mid-air two minutes after the launch in Kazakhstan, leading to a dramatic emergency landing. [Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko] will arrive while [Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergei] Prokopyev [currently staying on the International Space Station] won't leave yet.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague, who returned to Moscow from the Baikonur spaceport on October 12 after the Soyuz booster's failure, flew to the United States on October 13, the Cosmonaut Training Center's press service told TASS.

"I just remember it being this very poignant realization that 'Wow, we just had a failure of the booster!'" Hague said.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that a new crew will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on 20 December 2018 despite a recent rocket failure, Space Daily reports. Other users of the Soyuz rocket variants include Arianespace, and any potential delay to their planned launches would be damaging to the satellite industry.

"There was no time to be nervous because we had to work", Ovchinin told Russian television. "I was looking outside and trying to give it my best estimate of where we were going to come down".

Ballistic re-entry uses atmospheric drag to slow the spacecraft and can expose crewmembers to G-forces 10 times great than those on Earth, according to New Scientist.

Krikalyov said findings of the investigation are expected to be released by the end of next week. He added that space crew is trained to endure such load. Pressure returned to normal.

Ovchinin and Hague safely returned to Earth in a jettisoned escape capsule. "We were going slow enough, our energy was low enough, that it was really just aerodynamic drag that slowed us down".

Despite his dramatic escape last week, Hague is eager for his next opportunity to launch into space. "But we try to expand our understanding of the world, flying into space, and it's worth the risk", said the astronaut.

"I was supposed to be doing a spacewalk two days from now", he said. Fortunately, the members of the crew were fast recovered and they are in good shape.

"We are planning this during the crew changeover".

Other reports by iNewsToday