NASA astronaut Anne McClain has said she has ‘no qualms’ about riding a Russian rocket next month despite back-to-back mishaps with the aging craft.
She said Friday that spaceflight is never 100 percent safe and it’s coincidental the last two Soyuz missions to the International Space Station encountered trouble.
Last month, astronauts had to make an emergency landing following a failed launch. A month earlier, a space station air leak was traced to a hole mysteriously drilled into a docked Soyuz capsule.
Scroll down for video
In this image from video made available by NASA, U.S. astronaut Anne McClain speaks during an interview in Star City, Russia on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. She is set to blast off Dec. 3 on her first spaceflight, with a Russian and Canadian.
McClain is set to blast off Dec. 3 on her first spaceflight, with a Russian and Canadian.
She says her family is used to her risky work, given her Army combat-flying experience.
She says she wants to teach her young son and other children that sacrifice is necessary for achieving dreams.
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.
It shows one of the rockets four boosters failing to release properly, causing the terrifying spin.
Usually, the four boosters fall away perfectly symmetrically, creating a visual phenomenon sometimes referred to as a ‘Korolev Cross,’ after a Soviet rocket engineer.
Russian investigators say that the rocket itself was sound – and a sensor that sent the signal to jettison the rocket was to blame.
The Soyuz-FG rocket carrying a NASA astronaut and a Roscosmos cosmonaut failed two minutes into the Oct. 11 flight, sending their emergency capsule into a sharp fall back to Earth.
They landed safely on a steppe in Kazakhstan, but the aborted mission dealt another blow to the troubled Russian space program that serves as the only way to deliver astronauts to the orbiting outpost.
Roscosmos’ executive director Sergei Krikalyov said Wednesday the probe found that a malfunction of a sensor which signals the jettisoning one of the rocket’s four side boosters caused the booster to collide with the second stage of the rocket, but didn’t explain why it didn’t work.
(L-R) Roscosmos’ Deputy Director General for rockets production, operation of ground-based infrastructure and quality control, Alexander Lopatin, acting TSNIIMASH head Nikolai Sevastyanov, Head of the Roscosmos commission investigating the Soyuz rocket accident on 11 October 2018, Oleg Skorobogatov and RSC (Rocket and Space Corporation) Energia head Sergei Romanov take part in a news conference on causes of Soyuz rocket accident which took place on October 11
Oleg Skorobogatov, who led the probe into the accident, told reporters Thursday that the investigation found that the sensor was damaged during the final assembly at the launch pad in Kazakhstan.
Russian rockets are manufactured in Russia and then transported by rail to the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Skorobogatov said officials are now taking steps, including putting all assembly staff through competence tests and additional training, to make sure such malfunctions don’t happen again.
The rocket producer will also take apart two other rockets that have been recently assembled and are due to launch in the coming weeks and then re-assemble them, Skorobogatov said.
Roscosmos officials on Wednesday met with their counterparts from NASA to give them a full briefing on the malfunction, Roscosmos director general Dmitry Rogozin said Thursday.
FILE – In this Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 file photo, the Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-10 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, flies in the sky at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Russia’s space agency says an investigation has found that a rocket carrying a crew to the International Space Station failed recently because of a technical malfunction of a sensor.
Russian space officials plan to conduct one more unmanned Soyuz launch from Russia and one abroad before launching a crew to the space station.
Krikalyov said they hope to send the new crew to the orbiting lab on Dec. 3.
That would also mean that the current crew will have to stay there for at least an extra week or two to ensure a smooth carry-over.
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 Russia was trying to bring the date forward so that the ISS is not briefly left without a crew.
The three-person crew may return home on Dec. 20, he was quoted as saying.
‘The industry is making significant efforts to move the launch to Dec. 3 so that the station does not switch to autopilot mode, and landing is expected around Dec. 20,’ he said.
The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying the crew of astronaut Nick Hague of the U.S. and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Russia blasts off to the International Space Station (ISS) from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan October 11, 2018 seconds before the mission was aborted
Smoke rise as the boosters of first stage of the Soyuz-FG rocket with Soyuz MS-10 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, separate after the launch at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Russia’s space agency says an investigation has found that a rocket carrying a crew to the International Space Station failed recently because of a technical malfunction of a sensor.