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Signal failure may be to blame for Soyuz stage’s separation problem, says Roscosmos

The panel of inquiry is still in the process of investigating into the causes why no command to separate stages followed

MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. Signal failure might have occurred at the moment of separation of the first and second stages of the Soyuz-FG rocket, which triggered the safety system that aborted the launch, the Russian space corporation Roscosmos’s executive director for manned programs, Sergey Krikalyov, said on the RT television channel on Tuesday.

"As far as the cause is concerned, it is clear. In fact, there occurred a collision of the first and second stages in the process of separation of the first stage. The root cause, why it happened, is some end switch failed to transmit a signal, or there occurred signal disruption in the cable, which, in turn, might have been a result of various factors," Krikalyov said.

He said the panel of inquiry was still in the process of looking into the causes why no command to separate stages followed. "Data are still few," he said.

Krikalyov pointed out that Roscosmos was trying to find out only the technical factors that caused the emergency. As for speculations about "sabotage", he said that "different people are taking care of that."

Loss of Soyuz-MS-10

The Soyuz-FG launch vehicle carrying the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft blasted off from Baikonur on October 11. It was to deliver to the ISS Roscosmos’s Alexei Ovchinin and NASA’s Nick Hague.

The rocket’s failure triggered the emergency system that sent the landing capsule into ballistic reentry. The crew landed safely in Kazakhstan’s steppe. It was the first emergency involving this type of rocket in 35 years.