Soyuz rocket launch failure: recent developments

Soyuz rocket launch failure: recent developments

A carrier failure has occurred today after the launch of the Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) with Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague onboard.

A Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with a manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft has blasted off from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan to the ISS at 11:40 a.m. Moscow time. But 119 seconds into the flight, mission controllers on the Nasa broadcast began to speak of a failure.

A Russian-American space crew have been forced to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan after their Soyuz rocket suffered a failure shortly after launching from the cosmodrome. Crew members landed 25 km east of Kazakhstan’s Zhezkagan

A commentator on Nasa’s live broadcast later said that rescue teams had reached the capsule’s landing site and the two-person crew were in "good condition". Ovchinin and Hague had already left the capsule when rescue teams arrived.

Nasa described the emergency abort as a “ballistic landing”, meaning the crew’s spaceship did not achieve the speed necessary to achieve orbit around the Earth and instead fell back to the ground.

Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said that Russia expects the U.S. to show understanding regarding the Soyuz carrier rocket failure. The Roscosmos State Space Corporation will not conceal any causes from its American counterparts and will provide them with all the necessary information, he said.

"I think the Americans will show understanding regarding this situation. Naturally, we will not conceal the causes," he assured, stressing that to do anything on the contrary "is not the way things are done in such situations." "Of course, they should know. We will convey all the necessary information on this incident to them," Borisov promised.

He recalled "today only Russia ensures the transportation of space crews to the International Space Station."

Borisov did point out that there are quite a few emergencies and tragic incidents in the space industry, adding that such things "have happened in the history of US astronautics and in Russia." "This is a high-tech industry, which is associated with risks. It is not for nothing that our cosmonauts always receive prestigious awards for their space flights. People risk their lives," he emphasized.

He noted that the analysis of the emergencies is going to be subject to special scrutiny. "As the one who is in charge with this industry, I will certainly brief the country’s leadership on all the details and the progress into the causes of the emergency landing by the commission," he pledged.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will receive a full report on the aborted manned launch to the International Space Station from the Baikonur space center. Peskov did not specify when Chief of the Roscosmos State Space Corporation Dmitry Rogozin and Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov will represent their reports to the president. "It’s clear that Rogozin is apparently busy now: he needs to get information and analyze it."

The launch of the manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft was covered by Soglasie Insurance company for 4.6 bln rubles ($69.8 mln), according to the information provided by the public procurements website. The insurance premium totaled 143.3 mln rubles ($2.1 mln).

The contract insured against risks to the launch of the carrier rocket, assembler protective block and manned spacecraft, as well as its docking to the International Space Station. The loss of insured property of Roscosmos and the enterprises that took part in gearing up for and conducting the launch is a covered loss, TASS reported.

The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) has sufficient food and water supplies and the failed launch of a Soyuz FG booster with a manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft will have no impact on the station’s work, a source at the Baikonur Cosmodrome said.