Russia opens probe over failed rocket launch
Published : Friday, 12 October, 2018 at 10:34 AM Count : 293
Russia opened a criminal probe into a failed rocket launch that caused a two-man crew to make an emergency landing shortly after blast-off to the ISS on Thursday
The probe would seek to determine whether safety regulations had been violated during construction, leading to massive damage, the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement, AFP reports.
BBC adds: The two crew members, Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and American astronaut Nick Hague, are in good health, officials say.
They were heading for a six-month mission on the International Space Station when their flight was aborted.
Their capsule separated and landed 400km (250 miles) from the launch site.
What happened during the flight?
The launch appeared to be going smoothly, but some 90 seconds into the flight, the US space agency Nasa reported a problem with the booster rocket between the first and second stages separating.
Live video of the astronauts showed them shaking violently with the vibrations caused by the malfunction.
After around 114 seconds of flight, the emergency escape system sprang into action, separating the crew capsule from the rocket.
The capsule then began what Nasa termed a "ballistic descent", subjecting the crew to greater G-force - the force imposed on a body by rapid acceleration or deceleration - than during a normal landing.
Nasa said the capsule, which later deployed parachutes, took 34 minutes to reach the ground on the Kazakhstan steppe, hundreds of kilometres north-east of the Baikanour cosmodrome launch site.