Damaged Sensor Pin was the Cause of Failed ISS Crew Launch


Staff member
Mar 3, 2018
Russia's Space Agency, Roscosmos, has been thoroughly investigating the botched launch of a mission to the ISS. According to a press release, a damaged sensor pin led to an "abnormal" separation of one of the boosters. Up until recently, the ancient Soyuz launch system was notoriously reliable, which is why it's the only system capable of lobbing astronauts up to the ISS now. Fortunately, Roscosmos seem to have a lid on the issue, and have another manned launch scheduled for December 3, 2018, with a return trip on December 20.

Check out more footage of the launch here.

As follows from the findings of the Investigation Committee told to reporters by Oleg Skorobogatov,"The launch ended up with a launcher failure caused by abnormal separation of one of the strap-on boosters (Block D) that hit with its nose the core stage (Block A) in the fuel tank area. It resulted in its decompression and, as consequence, the space rocket lost its attitude control." The abnormal separation was caused by the non-opening of the lid of the nozzle intended to separate aside Block D oxidizer tank due to the deformation of the separation sensor pin (bended by 6˚45‘) . It was damaged during the assembling of the strap-on boosters with the core stage (the Packet) at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The LV failure cause is of the operational nature and spreads to the stock of already assembled packets of the Soyuz rocket.
Holes in capsule. Check.
Faulty sensor. Check.
Hate to see what's the next F-up going to be.
Someone better do a better job at quality control!
Do something or make something often enough, and eventually you will do it wrong. The current iteration of Soyuz has a pretty good safety record. No space traveler died from either the hole or launch abort. We probably won't hear about technician Ivan's unfortunate accident walking home from the local bar once the investigation finds him to be the one who made the mistake. "We aren't sure what he was doing in the tank training area. It is clearly posted. Horrible that 14 tanks ran over him before he was discovered. We grieve for the family."
Wasn't expecting such a quick investigation. Lucky for that Canadian astronaut.
Is it just me, or does it look like the exploding bolts that held the top of the booster didn't go off like the others did, and it dug into the side as the bottom came loose but not the top?

Exploding bolts are the most reliable things I know of... ???

From the American space program, they have Never failed in flight; they can be continually monitored until detonation.

I had to sign something once that said none of my designs for medical equipment used exploding bolts, so I researched them to see if they were useful, lol.

Not so useful for medical scanners, lol.

IDK, maybe an incredibly obese patient stuck in the bore, maybe... :rofl: