A Russian Soyuz rocket with American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin aborted launch two or three minutes after blasting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan when the booster rocket segment failed. Both crewmen survived a 6.7G emergency re-entry without a serious injury from the “ballistic landing”.
Private space transport contracts have been placed with Boeing and Elon Musk’s SpaceX to replace the Space Shuttle program which ended in 2011, but those new astronaut launch services are not scheduled until 2019, so the only program that can service the International Space Station (ISS) is the Soyuz program.
Three astronauts from Russia and the European Space Agency are currently aboard the ISS and will wait for some weeks or months until investigations of the Soyuz safety are completed. Prior to this launch, the Soyuz launch system completed 55 missions over 17 years.
Image: NASA / public domain
This story is taken from the 12 October 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.