Russia blames rocket failure on mistake during assembly

Russia suspended all launches after the accident on October 11 unprecedented for Russia's post Soviet manned launches that saw the rocket fail minutes after blast-off

Russian official says Soyuz rocket failure caused by an errant sensor

Russian officials believe that the defective component was damaged during assembly.

They warned that two other Soyuz rockets could be defective, and said additional checks have been introduced.

During the aborted launch October 11, the crew capusle carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin was able to safely separate from the rocket after getting a warning signal during separation, firing engines to gain distance from the booster, according to NASA spokesperson Reid Weisman.

The crew members, Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and American astronaut Nick Hague, were then recovered in good health from an escape capsule.

The incident was the first serious launch problem by a manned Soyuz mission since 1983.

Sergei Krikalyov, a senior Roscosmos official, was quoted by state news agency Tass as saying the next manned launch had been planned for mid-December, but that Russian Federation was trying to bring the date forward so that the ISS is not briefly left without a crew.

The current ISS crew, the ESA's Alexander Gerst, NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, and Roscosmos' Sergey Prokopyev, are expected to return to Earth around December 20, a week after their originally-scheduled December 13 descent.

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As a result, one of the side-mounted rocket boosters did not separate properly from the vehicle and collided with the rocket.

Live video of the astronauts inside showed them shaking violently with vibrations caused by the malfunction.

Ovchinin and Hague returned safely back to Earth in their capsule, and are likely get their chance to go to the space station in the spring, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin has said.

The Canadian Space Agency said it is still awaiting confirmation of details regarding Saint-Jacques' mission.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos immediately launched an investigation into the rocket failure.

"It has been proven, fully confirmed, that this happened specifically because of this sensor, and that could only have happened during the package's assembly at the Baikonur cosmodrome", he said.

The incident occurred on 11th October as has been traced to a malfunction that occurred in the detector that signals separation of the rocket's first and second stages.

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