File photo of a previous Soyuz launch. Soyuz MS-10 launched Oct. 11, 2018, and failed to reach orbit. Photo Credit: Sean Costello / SpaceFlight Insider
For the first time in International Space Station history, a crew has failed to reach orbit. The spacecraft’s escape tower safely pulled Soyuz MS-10 with its two-person crew away from the failed booster.
Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague lifted off atop a Soyuz-FG rocket at 2:40 p.m. local time (4:40 a.m. EDT / 8:40 GMT) Oct. 11, 2018. Around the time of the separation of the four strap-on boosters was when the issue occurred. In the NASA TV live stream, the two appeared be jerked before the internal spacecraft video feed cut off.
That jerking motion was likely due to the activation of the launch escape motor, which pulled the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft and its crew safely away from the failed Soyuz-FG booster. This placed the capsule onto a ballistic trajectory, resulting in high gravity loads on the crew during its re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
Russian search and rescue teams are currently traveling downrange to meet up with Ovchinin and Hague. It is expected to take about 90 minutes for them ...