Science

Failed Soyuz astronauts to fly again

Failed Soyuz astronauts to fly again”

A Soyuz rocket booster failed during the launch of a capsule carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin Thursday, forcing officials to abort their mission.

Reuters Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin (R) and US astronaut Nick Hague (L) disembark from a plane, after the Soyuz spacecraft made an emergency landing following a failure of its booster rockets, as they arrive at Baikonur airport, Kazakhstan, Oct. 11, 2018.

The 1975 Soyuz-18-1 mission was much further along in its flight when the abort occurred: just under five minutes, amid the rocket's second and third stage separation.

These will be the first crewed missions to launch from American soil since 2011 and, while the issues with the Soyuz MS-10 mission will likely be resolved by then, this will allow for increased access to space and reduce dependency.

"The Soyuz capsule is returning to Earth via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal", NASA said in a brief statement via Twitter. But soon after the landing, US and Russian officials said that rescue forces were in contact with the astronaut and cosmonaut. Dzhezkazgan is about 450 kilometres northeast of Baikonur.

The Soyuz spacecraft launched today was to be the return vehicle for Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of ESA and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, who were to return to Earth on December 13.

In statements by both Russian Federation and NASA the crew is said to be in "good condition", and no serious injuries have been reported. Roscosmos, the Russian firm that operates the nation's space agency and is responsible for Soyuz launches, will not hold any news conferences today. The crew is now being brought to Moscow.

Hague was born in the same year the United States and the Soviet Union launched their first joint space mission, the Apollo-Soyuz, or Soyuz-Apollo mission in 1975.

This type of Soyuz rocket has been flying people to space since 2001, and until now, it has never failed, according to Space News.

The current space station crew of an American, a Russian and a German was scheduled to return to Earth in December after a six-month mission.

A Canadian astronaut's scheduled trip to the International Space Station is in limbo after the spacecraft he was to use failed and made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan.

A recording of communications between the space station and NASA stated that Hague and Ovchinin had experienced 6.7 G's - about the same as Apollo astronauts felt during reentry, according to Air and Space magazine.

The U.S. and other nations have depended on Russian Federation to carry astronauts to the ISS since the retirement of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.

This failure comes as America is working to wean itself off of its Russian rocket dependency. Russian Federation stands to lose that monopoly in the coming years with the arrival of the SpaceX's Dragon v2 and Boeing's Starliner crew capsules.

In this photo made available by Roscosmos on Friday, Oct. 12.



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