Thursday October 11, 2018

Soyuz Launch Aborted With ISS Crew On Board

A Soyuz rocket carrying ISS crew members aborted a launch mid flight. 2 minutes into the launch, as the boosters separated from the main vehicle, parts started flying off while translators monitoring the live feed yelled "booster failure!." The MS-10 capsule carrying the astronauts separated from the rest of the rocket, just as it was designed to do, and fell back down to Earth. After experiencing deceleration forces as high as 7G, NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin landed somewhere in Kazakhstan, and reports say they're both OK. The Soyuz rocket is currently the only launch platform capable of carrying astronauts to the ISS, but other launch platforms are in development. You can see a video of the launch below:

Thursday’s launch was the first mishap for a Russian Soyuz booster since an earlier version of the rocket caught fire on the pad before launch in August 1983, triggering a dramatic abort that subjected Vladimir Titov and Gennady Strekalov to 17 times the force of gravity as the capsule was pulled away fro the exploding rocket. They landed about two and a half miles from the launch pad, shaken but in good health. The only other Russian manned launch failure occurred in 1975 when the booster’s second and third stages failed to separate. Vasily Lazarev and Oleg Makarov reached an altitude of 119 miles before descending to a landing about 978 miles from the launch site in the Altai Mountains. The crew was rescued without incident. The only fatalities in the Russian manned space program occurred during re-entries from orbit. Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was killed in 1967 when the parachutes in his malfunctioning capsule failed to inflate. Three cosmonauts - Vladislav Volkov, Georgi Dobrovoiski and Viktor Patsayev - lost their lives in 1971 when their Soyuz depressurized during descent.