Early Monday morning, a crew of three astronauts launch a Russian Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station. For the first time people are driven on the Soyuz after the vehicle was torn apart in mid-October with two passengers board. After an investigation, Russia claims to have identified and resolved the problem that led to the failure, and considers the rocket ready to carry people back.
The Soyuz has been successfully launched four times since the accident. However, it only started once in the same configuration as the failing Soyuz, a version of the rocket known as Soyuz FG. The launch in November was a success, bringing a Russian cargo carrier called Progress into orbit. The flight paved the way for the mission on Monday, when the Soyuz FG will once again prove safe for space flight.
Prior to the failure, the Soyuz-FG had a 1
It was clear from footage taken of the start that something went wrong during the first leg of the breakup as the rocket dropped off some of the hardware during the flight. Normally, the Soyuz has four boosters that surround its main core and cross each other during the flight. Instead, one of the four boosters contacted the middle core, causing the Soyuz to break.
The Russian space company Roscosmos has since discovered the failure of a deformed sensor signaling the separation of the stages. The sensor was obviously damaged during assembly, and Roscosmos found that two more Soyuz rockets may have had the same defect. However, the company says that the problem has now been resolved and should not affect future missions.
As Hague and Ovchinin did not get to the ISS as planned, Roscosmos boarded today's flight to make sure that the station was not there a crew deficit for a long time. Originally this flight, which will feature NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, was due to launch on 20 December to join Haag and Ovchinin. In this way, they would replace the three current individuals aboard ISS-NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, German astronaut Alexander Gerst, and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev, who were due to leave in mid-December. But in this way, the new crew will arrive long before the departure of the current crew.
. That means, if everything is fine with this flight, NASA does not have to entertain the possibility of an empty space station. The current crew of the ISS arrived at the beginning of June in a Soyuz capsule on the ISS. However, the Soyuz has only a limited lifespan in orbit. It only takes about 200 days in space before it has to come down again. If a new crew does not arrive at the space station before the end of December, either an empty Soyuz must be brought to the ISS to extend the occupation time of the current time – or the crew would have to leave home and the space station empty station.
At the moment, these scenarios are not yet in danger of becoming reality. And McClain, who will embark on her first voyage into space, says she has "self-confidence" if she had ridden the Soyuz right after the defeat, and told the Houston Chronicle that "no one gives the green light to fly "Unless the problem has been resolved."
The Soyuz will be lifted from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 6:31 am ET NASA plans to broadcast the mission live at 5.30 pm (ET) has reached orbit at 12:35 ET at the ISS.