- A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying two people failed mid-flight on October 12.
- The crew – Nick Hague, a NASA astronaut, and Alexey Ovchinin, a Russian cosmonaut – had their space capsule ejected from the rocket and survived without injury.
- Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, posted a video of the botched launch on Twitter on Thursday.
Almost three weeks ago, on October 12, a Soyuz rocket carrying a NASA astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut failed mid-flight, 31 miles above Earth’s surface. The space capsule carrying the two men ripped away from the damaged rocket, then plunged back to Earth.
Thankfully, the two men on board, Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin, survived without injury and landed on the ground in Kazakhstan.
“We knew that if we wanted to be successful, we needed to stay calm, and we needed to execute the procedures in front of us as smoothly and efficiently as we could,” Hague told The Associated Press.
After investigating the incident, Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, determined that one of the rocket’s boosters failed and stuck to the main rocket body instead of peeling off. That failure was filmed from a camera attached to the rocket, looking down its body.
About one minute and 24 seconds into the video, you can see one of the side boosters stick to the rocket, sending it careening back to the ground because it was too heavy.
Roscosmos has said that a faulty sensor caused the failure and that it believes Soyuz rockets will resume launching in December, when a three-person crew at the International Space Station must return to Earth.
But the failure is worrisome, since Soyuz is the only human-rated spacecraft used to get people to and from the space station. It’s relied upon by NASA, Europe, Russia, and other partners.
SpaceX and Boeing are building new commercial spaceships designed to reach the space station, but they may not launch until mid-2019.
Watch the video of the rocket failure below:
— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) November 1, 2018