Russia: Soyuz launch failure due to ‘deformation’ during assembly

The failed Soyuz rocket separation

The failed Soyuz rocket

Roscosmos has said a faulty sensor caused the failure and believes Soyuz rockets will resume launching in December (when the current three-person space station crew must return to Earth).

Roscosmos completed an investigation into the loss of a Soyuz rocket last month that led to a suspension of Russian rocket launches to the station. That target date falls less than eight weeks after the October 11 launch anomaly, which forced the Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin to make an emergency landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan.

Hague and Ovchinin landed safely and are in good condition, but they won't fly on the December 3 mission.

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Nearly three weeks ago, a Soyuz rocket carrying a NASA astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut failed in mid-flight, 31 miles above Earth's surface.

The new capsule will be commanded by cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, with the two flight engineers being Canadian David Saint-Jacques and Anne McClain, both at their first flight into space.

We will remind, the rocket "Soyuz" was wrecked soon after launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome on October 11. Chief investigator Igor Skorobogatov explained to reporters, "It has been proven, fully confirmed that this happened specifically because of this sensor, and that could only have happened during the package's assembly at the Baikonur Cosmodrome". The space agency recently announced the nine astronauts that will crew the test flights and first missions of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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Hague and Ovchinin will likely get to fly again before those two private spacecraft come online.

The rocket producer will also take apart two other rockets that have been recently assembled and are due to launch in the coming weeks and then re-assemble them, Skorobogatov said.

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