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Russia’s space agency declines to name causes of Soyuz rocket failure until probe is over

October 15, 2018, 14:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Following its smooth liftoff, the Soyuz’s booster malfunctioned between the first and second stages of separating, whereupon the crew was forced to abort the flight and switch to ballistic descent

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© Sergei Savostianov/TASS

MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos won’t give any versions of the Soyuz-FG booster’s failure until the probe is over, the Roscosmos press office told TASS on Monday.

Roscosmos earlier set up a special commission to probe the aborted launch of the Soyuz booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 11.

"The commission’s work is a delicate and specific theme. All the messages before the official results are announced are conjectures and speculations. Their spread extremely harms the course of the probe," Roscosmos said.

As soon as the commission "names the versions," they will be brought to the notice of the public, Roscosmos said.

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

Following its smooth liftoff, the Soyuz’s booster malfunctioned between the first and second stages of separating, whereupon the crew was forced to abort the flight and switch to ballistic descent. The manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft ended up landing in the Kazakh steppe.

The press office of Russia’s Central Military District reported that rescuers recovered the crew from the descent capsule. Later, the crewmembers were examined and found to be in good condition. After their medical check-up in the town of Baikonur, the astronauts were transported to Moscow.

This is the first emergency landing with this type of carrier rocket over the past 35 years.

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