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Cause of Soyuz-FG Launch Failure Revealed - Probe Commission

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International Space Station

In the first official report on the cause of the October 11 accident, Roscosmos said a sensor that indicated the separation of the first two stages of the rocket malfunctioned.

Roscosmos has said a faulty sensor caused the failure and believes Soyuz rockets will resume launching in December (when the current three-person space station crew must return to Earth).

The Soyuz-FG rocket carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin failed shortly into the October 11 flight, sending their capsule into a sharp fall back to Earth.

In the aborted mission, a space capsule carrying a two-man Russian-American crew malfunctioned after liftoff and landed safely in Kazakhstan.

Russian Federation 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.

"The reason found by the commission (investigating the accident) was the abnormal operation of a sensor that signals the separation of the first and second stages", Krikalyov said at a space industry event in Moscow. "It was damaged during the assembling of the strap-on boosters with the core stage (the Packet) at the Baikonur Cosmodrome".

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A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying two people failed mid-flight on October 12.

Two more Soyuz rockets at the Baikonur and Kourou spaceports with the same defect have been discovered, Skorobogatov said, with additional checks introduced into the rocket assembly process.

Also Thursday, the Kremlin confirmed that Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin has kept the president up to date on the situation surrounding the Soyuz-FG incident, and will do so again during his next working meeting with Vladimir Putin.

Russian Federation is the only country now able to send astronauts to the International Space Station, and the accident caused it to suspend all launches until getting to the bottom of the rare failed manned launch.

Russia's space agency has revealed new video footage of the Soyuz rocket failute that forced astonauts to abandon their mission to the International Space Station 50 miles above Earth.

The accident was the first serious launch problem experienced by a manned Soyuz space mission since 1983 when a crew narrowly escaped before a launchpad explosion. Russian Federation stands to lose that monopoly with the arrival of SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's Starliner crew capsules.

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