On Wednesday, Sergei Krikalev, executive director of the Roskosmos state corporation for manned space flight, named the cause of the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle accident, which could not deliver the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft to the ISS. The reason, as suggested by “Kommersant”, lay in the wrong separation of the first and second stages of the rocket. As Mr. Krikalev clarified, the accident occurred because of the sensor responsible for the process. The next launch of the Soyuz family rocket is scheduled for November 3 - the Soyuz-2.1b rocket should launch the GLONASS-M spacecraft into orbit.
Mr. Krikalev spoke about the findings of the commission investigating the Soyuz-FG accident at a solemn event dedicated to the 55th anniversary of the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “The State Commission has preliminarily established that when the Progress specialists of the Progress RCC assembled a package consisting of side blocks of the first stage and a central block of the second stage in the assembly and test building on the 112th platform of the Baikonur cosmodrome, the end sensor could be damaged on one of the side blocks - said the official "Roskosmos". - It is in flight when separating the side unit led to the non-opening of the jet nozzle cover to remove the side unit from the central unit ". He stressed that the state corporation and industrial enterprises are taking additional measures to prevent similar situations in the future.
Recall that on October 11, when launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome to the ISS of the Soyuz MS-10 manned spacecraft with cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and astronaut Nick Hague, an abnormal situation occurred due to which the crew had to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan. It was possible to avoid casualties thanks to the emergency rescue system that worked in a timely manner, which in time shot the capsule with the astronauts. It landed in the Dzhezkazgan region, about 400 km from the rocket launch site.
The fact that the damage caused during the assembly of the launch vehicle at Baikonur could have affected the staff launch of the Soyuz was reported to Kommersant on October 12. The experts of the interdepartmental commission, headed by the deputy director general of the Central Scientific Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering Oleg Skorobogatov, considered several versions of the accident. The first was associated with the failure of the side-block pirazamka, the second - with mechanical damage to its mounting, the third - with the automatic, which did not give the command to shoot the "boarder". During the investigation, the range of versions narrowed. According to Kommersant’s information, by the end of the investigation, the experts considered only versions with abnormal automation (the control system for Soyuz FG was developed by Khartron in Kharkov) or with abnormal assembly of the product directly at Baikonur (versions with manufacturing defects were rejected documentation raised in Progress).
According to a Kommersant source in the space industry, now each of the remaining Soyuz rockets will undergo additional verification - similar operations were carried out at the Plesetsk cosmodrome with the Soyuz-2.1b rocket, which delivered the 14F145 Lotos- C1. This was done before the official conclusion of the interdepartmental commission was made, the military source “Kommersant” acknowledges, the rush was due to the expiration of the starting date for Lotus-C1, which had already been charged in Plesetsk. Both the first stage (RD-107A engines) and the second (RD-108A engines), as well as their parts, were additionally checked in the assembly and test cases. Now, on November 3, the Soyuz-2.1b rocket should deliver the GLONASS-M spacecraft to orbit, on November 7, the Soyuz-ST rocket will launch from the Kourou (French Guiana) launch site, and on November 18, the Soyuz-FG launch, which will orbit space truck Progress. And after carrying out all additional checks, the manned ship will also be sent to space, launch is expected on December 3.