Monday October 15, 2018

Soyuz Launches Will Resume on Schedule

Following a botched, manned rocket launch last week, NASA chief Jim Bridenstine told reporters "I fully anticipate that we will fly again on a Soyuz rocket and I have no reason to believe at this point that it will not be on schedule." The next manned launched is scheduled for December 20th, and that launch represents the only lifeline the ISS has. No other launch platform is currently rated for carrying humans to space. According to Ars, the Crew Escape Vehicle aboard the ISS only has a rated lifetime of 200 days, and that time runs out in January. ISS crew members could be forced to abandon the station if things don't go according to plan, but NASA and Roscosmos do have plans for short-term unmanned ISS operation as well as unmanned Soyuz resupply missions. Unfortunately, a space walk for examining a hole in the ISS was also canceled. Spaceflightnow uploaded a video of the Soyuz rocket failure taken from multiple angles, for those who missed the original launch.

News Image

The failed launch earned scathing criticism from the usually pliant Russian media. "The breakup of the Soyuz," Kommersant broadsheet said in a frontpage headline. But observers also said the astronauts survived thanks to the reliability of the Soviet-era rocket's rescue system, which returned them safely to Earth despite the launch failure. "As strange as it may seem, the accident at Baikonur only confirmed the reliability of the Russian rocket," said opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta. But it added that Russia's state space industry probably could not be saved "in its current form."