Russian space agency Roscosmos has tweeted a new video of last month’s failed Soyuz rocket launch that forced an emergency landing for the two-person crew. NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin were travelling to the International Space Station when one of the rocket’s boosters failed to separate—a moment that can be seen clearly in the new video.
The separation starts at the 1:25 mark, with the failed booster swinging sideways instead of falling away, sending the spacecraft spinning:
— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) November 1, 2018
The AP reported the rocket was 50 kilometers from Earth’s surface when the booster failed. Hague and Ovchinin went into ballistic descent, re-entering the atmosphere at a steeper angle than normal. They fell for more than 30 minutes, and landed safely.
“We knew that if we wanted to be successful, we needed to stay calm and we needed to execute the procedures in front of us as smoothly and efficiently as we could,” Hague told the AP last month.
Nick Hague is back in the United States following last week’s aborted launch of a Soyuz-FG rocket. The NASA astronaut has now described the incident to the Associated Press, explaining what happened after the Russian-built capsule flew away from the failing rocket at speeds reaching 6480km/h.
The failure occurred due to sensor damage during the rocket’s assembly, Russian investigators said Thursday. Roscosmos said the problem will be fixed and plans to attempt another launch on December 3.
The agency grounded all crewed launches after the incident, which was the first aborted Russian launch in 35 years. Much of the world uses Russian rockets to send people and cargo into space, raising the possibility that the International Space Station could soon be empty once its current crew of three returns to Earth.