The malfunction caused one of the rocket’s four side boosters to collide with the second stage of the rocket.The Soyuz-FG rocket carrying a NASA astronaut and his Russian crewmate failed two minutes into the Oct. 11 flight, sending their emergency capsule back to Earth. Roscosmos officials on Wednesday met with their counterparts from NASA to give them a full briefing on the malfunction. Russian space agency 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.
Russian space officials hope to resume sending crews to the International Space Station in early December. They plan to conduct two other unmanned Soyuz launches before launching a crew to the space station.The last time Russia saw an aborted manned launch was in 1983, when two Soviet cosmonauts jettisoned and landed safely after a launch pad explosion. The current space station crew, made up of NASA’s Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Russian Sergei Prokopyev and German Alexander Gerst , was scheduled to return to Earth after a six-month mission but will have to stay there for at least an extra week or two to ensure a smooth carry-over before the new crew arrives in early December.