Russia investigating failed Soyuz rocket launch

Russia has launched an investigation into the failed launch of a Soyuz rocket ferrying a crew to the Interna...

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 12:26 PM
Updated: Oct 12, 2018 12:26 PM

Russia has launched an investigation into the failed launch of a Soyuz rocket ferrying a crew to the International Space Station (ISS) which resulted in an emergency landing Thursday.

"Telemetry is being studied," Roscosmos Director Dmitry Rogozin said in a statement. "Rescue services worked from the first second of the accident."

Accidents

Accidents, disasters and safety

Air transportation

Air transportation safety

Aircraft accidents

Aviation and aerospace industry

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Eastern Europe

Europe

Government organizations - US

NASA

Rescue operations

Russia

Safety issues and practices

Space and astronomy

Space exploration

Space industry

Spacecraft and satellites

Transportation and warehousing

Travel and tourism

Travel safety and security

US federal departments and agencies

US government independent agencies

Celestial bodies and objects

Earth

Planets and moons

Science

Government and public administration

Investigations

Politics

Russia meddling investigation

Space stations

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are in what NASA director Jim Bridenstine described as "good condition" after surviving an emergency landing following a booster failure on the rocket carrying them to the ISS.

"I'm grateful that everyone is safe," Bridenstine said on Twitter.

NASA and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, pledged a thorough investigation after the aborted launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket. But the incident highlights recent tensions that have surfaced in a long-running collaboration in space between the US and Russia.

Kenny Todd, International Space Station Operations Integration Manager, said a Russian investigative commission will be "tasked with trying to understand exactly what happened and what recovery efforts are needed in order to get flying again."

"We'll expect to hear some details on that over the next few days from our Russian colleagues," he told reporters. "We feel confident that our Russian colleagues will figure out what's going on."

The rocket was transporting Hague and Ovchinin from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a six-month stay on the International Space Station. NASA currently depends on Russian Soyuz launch systems to ferry crew members to the station.

Collaboration between the US and Russian space agencies has largely steered clear of geopolitical controversies, despite a standoff between Washington and Moscow that has continued since Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

In August, however, the detection of a minute pressure leak on the International Space Station became the subject of intense media speculation in Russia. The leak was quickly repaired, but Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin suggested that the leak was caused by something other than an accident or production defect.

Speaking with reporters in Moscow before Thursday's launch, Bridenstine said that Russian-American cooperation in space remained strong, amid an investigation into the cause of the leak.

"That relationship is strong, and whatever happens terrestrially, we've always been able to keep space exploration and discovery and science separate from whatever terrestrial disputes there may be," he said. "What we've got to do is we've got to very dispassionately allow the investigation to go forward without speculation, without rumor, without innuendo, without conspiracy."

NASA and Roscosmos said search-and-rescue teams responded quickly to retrieve the crew members, whose spacecraft parachuted to Earth in an emergency landing in Kazakhstan.

"It wasn't quite the day that we planned but it is great to have Nick and Alexey at least here back on the ground again," Todd said. "Anytime you can get a crew safely home you feel very good about what you've accomplished."

Dramatic footage showed the capsule carrying the crew thumping down in a plume of dust, minutes after it launched.

The rocket had lifted off at 4:40 a.m. ET on a journey that was expected to involve four orbits of the Earth and take six hours.

NASA earlier tweeted that there had been an issue with the booster and that its teams were heading towards the expected touchdown location.

"Teams have been in contact with the crew. Teams are working with our Russian partners to obtain more information about the issue with the booster from today's launch," the US agency said.

"The crew is returning to Earth in a ballistic descent mode. Teams are working to obtain additional information from our Russian partners. Search and rescue teams are in the air and heading towards the expected touchdown location for the Soyuz spacecraft returning to Earth carrying two crew members."

The ballistic descent is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal, NASA said.

"All that really means is, it's like shooting a bullet out of a rifle barrel," said Reid Wiseman, deputy chief of NASA's Astronaut Office. "It starts slowly spinning the descent module so that it has aerodynamic stability as it comes back through the thicker parts of the atmosphere and then the parachute comes out and they land."

He added, "The crew would have experienced just a fairly benign amount of rotation -- about six to seven times Earth's gravity, which is not insignificant -- but from everything we've seen the crew is in great shape."

Wiseman said the rocket automatically initiated the abort.

"So from a crew perspective certainly there is a bit of a shock in there for a moment," he said. "They had a brief moment of weightlessness and then G-forces built up, the parachute came out and they landed."

By Thursday afternoon, Ovchinin and Hague made their way back to Baikonur on helicopters, NASA said. The agency said the rescue crews were preparing to return them to Moscow, and Roscosmos released still images of the two crew members receiving medical evaluation in Kazakhstan.

NASA later tweeted images of the two men embracing their families back in Baikonur.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he expected Russian President Vladimir Putin would be briefed on the incident.

Hague, who only joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013, was on his first space mission.

He and Ovchinin were due to join Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, NASA Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Prokopyev on the ISS. They arrived at the station in June.

Gerst tweeted his relief that the two astronauts were safe, saying the day's events "showed again what an amazing vehicle the Soyuz is, to be able to save the crew from such a failure."

He added: "Spaceflight is hard! And we must keep trying for the benefit of humankind."

The Expedition 57 crew members are working on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, according to NASA.

Terre Haute
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 43°
Robinson
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 41°
Indianapolis
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 43°
Rockville
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 43°
Casey
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 33°
Brazil
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 43°
Marshall
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 43°
Rainy & Cold
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Image

Indiana National Guard set to help long term care facilities

Image

Country Legend J.T. Corenflos dies at 56

Image

Golden Apple: Erin Hardy

Image

Women leaving the workforce at an alarming rate, hear one local mother's struggles amid the pandemic

Image

Tuesday: Showers early, cloudy. High: 48

Image

Noble Johnson

Image

How to protect yourself from scammer

Image

Daviess County government center opens for business

Image

Monday Evening Forecast

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 383687

Reported Deaths: 9792
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1774655433
DuPage23099606
Lake20815511
Will18621427
Kane16903347
Winnebago10340180
St. Clair7993220
Madison7221154
McHenry6452121
Champaign617229
Unassigned4778270
Peoria462273
McLean420934
Rock Island407090
Sangamon406763
Kankakee342180
Macon316052
Kendall270430
Tazewell268756
LaSalle242663
DeKalb239942
Coles193539
Adams188820
Williamson188859
Boone187825
Clinton178926
Vermilion174110
Jackson154826
Whiteside146027
Knox131716
Randolph128315
Ogle12187
Effingham11834
Marion102819
Stephenson10187
Franklin9869
Grundy9777
Morgan93424
Monroe92530
Bureau91316
Jefferson90748
Henry8537
Christian82529
Macoupin81611
Union78725
McDonough77120
Lee7402
Shelby69112
Fayette68524
Douglas6849
Crawford6516
Livingston64610
Woodford63714
Montgomery61516
Logan5994
Saline5679
Fulton5271
Jo Daviess5127
Bond5079
Warren5068
Iroquois49519
Wayne48612
Jersey47521
Cass46311
Perry44716
Carroll41911
Moultrie4154
Johnson3620
Pike3586
Lawrence3368
Richland33516
Clay31413
Hancock3144
Clark31017
Washington3102
Mason3091
Greene29515
Cumberland2946
Mercer2706
White2704
De Witt2646
Jasper26410
Piatt2540
Pulaski2401
Wabash2285
Ford19814
Menard1861
Edgar15710
Marshall1573
Massac1552
Henderson1290
Hamilton1262
Alexander1241
Brown1110
Edwards1090
Gallatin1072
Scott1070
Putnam920
Schuyler901
Stark863
Calhoun660
Hardin540
Pope421
Out of IL50

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 164581

Reported Deaths: 4143
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26055792
Lake14436358
St. Joseph9606168
Elkhart9271138
Allen8647231
Hamilton6400115
Vanderburgh617162
Tippecanoe396715
Porter347550
Hendricks3418134
Monroe335638
Johnson3286130
Delaware311575
Clark306263
Vigo275340
Madison250896
LaPorte239261
Cass229724
Warrick205065
Kosciusko201127
Floyd187468
Howard169466
Bartholomew147958
Marshall147428
Dubois146426
Wayne142031
Grant133539
Henry133030
Boone129150
Hancock124744
Noble122935
Jackson121018
Dearborn103128
Morgan100340
Lawrence96838
Gibson94412
Clinton92416
Daviess92334
Shelby90632
LaGrange82815
Knox81810
Harrison81024
Posey7767
Putnam77616
Fayette76719
DeKalb76011
Jasper6885
Miami6715
Steuben6608
Montgomery63122
White62316
Greene57838
Adams5607
Scott55413
Decatur52839
Ripley4838
Whitley4836
Clay4617
Sullivan45714
Wells45611
Huntington4455
Starke4438
Wabash4439
Orange42425
Spencer4176
Randolph39210
Jennings38713
Washington3873
Franklin38325
Fulton3785
Perry36914
Jefferson3655
Pike35718
Carroll34313
Jay3386
Fountain3293
Tipton28423
Vermillion2721
Parke2564
Rush2464
Blackford2394
Newton23711
Owen2151
Martin2050
Pulaski1783
Crawford1631
Brown1473
Ohio1337
Union1140
Benton1130
Switzerland980
Warren911
Unassigned0236