Roscosmos Continues Investigation into Aborted Soyuz Launch

Soyuz MS-10 launch Photo (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The video recorder and telemetry data of Soyuz-FG, which suffered an accident during the launch on Thursday, October 11, were delivered to RSC Energia for studying and forming conclusions. The results of the analysis will be transferred to the commission established to investigate the incident.

Roscosmos is in constant contact with NASA on the issue of sending an American cargo ship to the ISS in the event of such a need.

On Sunday, October 14, parts of all levels of Soyuz-FG, which crashed during launch on Thursday, October 11, will be delivered to the Samara enterprise of the RCC Progress center (manufacturer of launch vehicles of the Soyuz family).

At the beginning of the next week, the flight testing commission will begin work at RCC Progress, which will study fragments of the stages of an emergency launch vehicle to form a further conclusion.

Roscosmos plans to speed up the preparation of a new launch vehicle in order to decide as soon as possible on the schedule for further launches. The decision on the schedule will be made immediately after permission is given for the further operation of the launch vehicles of this family.

Editor’s Note: Investigators have zeroed in on the side boosters. Based on photos of the flight, it appears one of them failed to separate as planned and hit the booster in the middle.

  • Robert G. Oler

    in a system this flight proven, it has to be a QC issue.

  • Cameron

    The boosters (and everything else for that matter) fall on land, so they could possibly locate them and have hard physical evidence to look at. There are pictures of previously ‘landed’ boosters in relatively good condition.

  • Jeff2Space

    Yes, in recent years the reliability of the Soyuz launch vehicle has been dropping.

    So far three Progress resupply vessels and one Soyuz crewed vessel have failed to make it to ISS due to Soyuz launch vehicle failures.

    Prior Parabolic Arc article on Russian launch vehicle failures:

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/03/26/russian-launch-failures-arent-bug-theyre-feature/

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    If things got out of hand and the Russians can’t pull it together, I wonder what it would take to put a Soyuz on a Falcon?

  • duheagle

    The entire Soviet-legacy Russian space effort is undergoing a slo-mo RUD – punctuated by fast RUD’s of random vehicles.

  • duheagle

    Unless the paranoid Russkies are actually right this time and it was sabotage. Even in Russia, QC issues are far more likely an explanation, but distinguishing reliably between these two etiologies seems to be getting steadily more difficult. We need to remove these people from any critical paths anent any extant American space effort ASAP, and not add them to any new ones.

  • duheagle

    That is true of this failure because it occurred at relatively low altitude and speed. Many of the Russian failures of recent years occurred because of upper stage misadventures which rendered any surviving bits of suborbital shrapnel either much harder to find or, for impacts at sea, impossible.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    It sure is. I thank America’s lucky stars (and stripes) every time I see that cadre of young enthused and capable young engineers at Space X.

  • Cameron

    Yes, I was speaking of the boosters, not upper stages. I would not expect they’d anything left of those in most cases. Even if they survived in this case, they’d be loaded with propellant on impact, so…

  • SamuelRoman13

    The last I read was close out photos at the factory showed no holes.The hole was made after that. Maybe somebody hopped a freight and drilled the hole. They did not say if any stills or video showed a hole anywhere at Baikinor. Maybe we could help out and look at anything available. A lot of work though.
    Sounds like they may have gotten in touch with the recovery team and told them not to use the chop saws on Soyuz. Maybe an off road Semi or a big helicopters recovered it intact. I don’t see why they don’t recover the engines like ULA wants to do. Maybe they are not reusable for some reason. From the pictures I have seen they look in good shape except for the one that hit the ground(Space Tourist). I guess it is cheaper to make new ones. It looks like they could use a parachute and some shielding to keep the nozzles from being damaged and reuse them. Recovery and shipping costs too high I guess.
    They did not say, so I assume that no poor people or houses were hurt from falling pieces. Can you imagine living in a place where the 1st warning is a boom and you wonder if you are going to be hit by Soyuz?
    I did not see any foxholes or slit trenches. I would think NASA would send a backhoe out to dig one if anyone wanted one. I think the water table is pretty low so they could do that. NASA would sound a siren or send a WI-FI message like : Incoming! at launch. If anybody wanted to run to the Slit Trench they could do so. I don’t know about a fire from any remaining kerosene though. Nobody has been killed. I wonder if there has been any suicides or do they just live with it?

  • Michael Halpern

    Wasn’t there a crew Soyuz that had a pad abort during the Shuttle era?

  • Michael Halpern

    You mean a SMUD?

  • Jeff2Space

    This one?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_7K-ST_No._16L

    From above:
    Soyuz 7K-ST No.16L, sometimes known as Soyuz T-10a or T-10-1, was an unsuccessful Soyuz mission intended to visit the Salyut 7 space station, which was occupied by the Soyuz T-9 crew. However, it never finished its launch countdown; the launch vehicle was destroyed on the launch pad by fire on September 26, 1983. The launch escape system of the Soyuz spacecraft fired two seconds before the launch vehicle exploded, saving the crew. It is the first case in which a launch escape system has been fired with a crew aboard.

  • duheagle

    For the Russian space effort in general – and Russia in general – I guess I do.

  • duheagle

    Let us hope the appropriate track through the Kazakh steppe is being curry-combed even as we speak. Given the recent mysterious appearance of a drilled hole in a crew capsule, it would be good to nail down for sure whether this latest misadventure was due to actual malice or just routine carelessness and stupidity. If the former, the Russians may actually be able to do something about it to prevent recurrence. If the latter, it already seems clear the Russians are powerless.

  • Cameron

    Falcon is already prepared to carry Crew Dragon. Much faster and easier to finish up that almost-done effort than to try and mate a Soyuz. Especially as the Soyuz abort motors are part of it’s special payload shroud.