Russians ID cause of Soyuz launch abort, release dramatic rocket video

By Sarah Lewin
November 01, 2018, 5:54:46 PM EDT

A deformed sensor caused the harrowing Soyuz rocket launch abort that forced its American and Russian crew to perform a emergency landing last month, Russia's space agency Roscosmos announced Thursday (Nov. 1).

Roscosmos also released dramatic video footage from the onboard camera this morning, showing a calm ascent into space interrupted by a booster separation and sudden tumbling motion.


A view of the Soyuz MS-10 booster separation as well as NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, on their way to the International Space Station when they experienced a dramatic launch abort Oct. 11, 2018. Credit: Roscosmos

During the conference, officials said that the abnormal separation of one of the rocket's four strap-on boosters, which hit the core booster, was caused by a nozzle cover on the oxidizer tank failing to open. According to the press statement, that impact occurred because the separation contact sensor was deformed during assembly at its Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site in Kazakhstan.

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