Russian Soyuz rocket failure caused by damaged sensor: investigation

Science

The Soyuz 2.1b rocket carrying a military spacecraft takes off from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk region, Russia October 25, 2018. Russian Defence Ministry Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The launch failure last month of a manned mission to space was caused by a faulty sensor that was damaged during the Soyuz rocket’s assembly at the cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the head of a Russian commission investigating the incident said on Thursday.

A Russian cosmonaut and U.S. astronaut were forced to abort their mission on Oct. 11 after a rocket bound for the International Space Station failed, sending them plunging back to Earth in an emergency landing.

Presenting the findings of an official investigation into the accident, Igor Skorobogatov told reporters that two more Soyuz rockets may have the same defect and that additional checks were being introduced into the rocket assembly process.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Gareth Jones

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