Arianespace said Oct. 11 it’s too soon to say whether the Soyuz-ST rockets it uses to launch satellites from South America will be grounded following the failure of a Russian Soyuz-FG rocket carrying crew to the International Space Station.
With Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft grounded for an indefinite period, NASA managers said Oct. 11 that they will look at ways to keep the current International Space Station crew in orbit for an extended period if needed.
Thursday’s dramatic launch abort was the first time a crewed spacecraft bound for the ISS has suffered a mission critical failure. But it was not the first time that a manned Soyuz rocket has been forced to activate its launch abort system.
An American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut are reported to be in good condition after a problem with their Soyuz rocket minutes after liftoff Oct. 11 forced them to abort their mission to the International Space Station and make an an emergency landing in Kazakhstan.
As the crew of the International Space Station worked Aug. 30 to fix, at least temporarily, a minor air leak, the incident illustrated the growing orbital debris risk to the outpost and strains in American and Russian approaches to ISS operations.
NASA is in discussions with its Russian counterparts about extending some upcoming space station missions as a way to buy more time for development of commercial crew vehicles.
A review of more than 70 Russian rocket engines manufactured at a factory that used the wrong solder is now complete, according to the Russian state corporation Roscosmos.
An insurance company paid Astro Digital’s claim for the loss of two cubesats sent into orbit on a Russian Soyuz rocket after the Earth imaging and analysis company proved the failure stemmed from a launch problem, according to two space industry executives.
A Soyuz rocket from Arianespace successfully delivered four telecommunications satellites into medium Earth orbit for fleet operator SES.
Try as they might, the Russian space program is having a hard time sustaining a positive news cycle. For every small step forward, it seems they take one giant leap back. Budget cuts, program delays, and regular launch failures dog Russia’s space industry at every turn — making small victories and promises of glories still to come harder and harder to swallow.
A Soyuz spacecraft returning three people to Earth in April experienced a partial loss of pressure during the final stages of its descent, but did not put the crew’s lives in danger.