By Tim Binnall
Officials with the Russian space agency Roscosmos have released breathtaking footage from last month's harrowing Soyuz rocket launch failure as well as their assessment of what caused the aborted mission. The incident, which took place on October 11th, saw the two person crew of the capsule forced to make a dramatic and sudden return to Earth moments after taking to the sky due to a miscue involving the deployment of the rocket's boosters.
Following the unsettling event, the space agency set about investigating the mysterious malfunction and released their findings today. According to a press release from Roscosmos, the failure was caused by an "abnormal separation of one of the strap-on boosters" which led to the discharged piece hitting the fuel tank of the rocket. This set off a fast-moving chain of events which ultimately led to the capsule losing altitude control due to decompression.
In a testament to the complex nature of space travel and how the smallest problems can have disastrous consequences, the Roscosmos traced the unexpected turn of events back to a nozzle which didn't open properly because a sensor pin that had been slightly bent when the boosters were assembled with the rocket. Incredibly, the piece had been shifted by a mere six degrees, which was apparently enough to throw the entire operation out of whack.
Along with their report on the failed mission, Roscosmos also shared some rather dramatic footage captured by a camera aboard the rocket. In the video, the mission appears to begin in an ordinary fashion before the boosters deploy and cause the capsule to seemingly spin out of control. Having learned what caused the incident, the space agency says that they are developing preventative measures to ensure it does not happen again and hope to begin "urgent actions to resume Soyuz launches" later this month.