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Booster separation error seen as most likely cause of Soyuz launch failure — source

October 11, 23:46 UTC+3 BAIKONUR

Shortly after liftoff, the Soyuz’s booster malfunctioned, forcing the crew to abort the mission and make a ballistic descent

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© Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

BAIKONUR, October 11. /TASS/. The state commission investigating Thursday’s failed launch of a Soyuz-FG carrier rocket sees a strap-on booster separation error as the most likely cause of the accident, a rocket and space industry source told TASS on Thursday.

"Based on the results of their meeting, the state commission views a malfunction during the strap-on booster separation process as the most likely reason for the Soyuz-FG launch failure," the source said

A Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday at 11:40 am (Moscow time). On board the spacecraft were Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin (the commander of the Soyuz MS-10) and NASA astronaut Nick Hague.

Shortly after liftoff, the Soyuz’s booster malfunctioned, forcing the crew to abort the mission and make a ballistic descent, ultimately landing in the Kazakh steppe. Rescuers evacuated the cosmonauts from the descent capsule. This is the first such incident in the past 35 years.

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