The Russians are moving fast. After one of the missiles failed last month, causing an automatic interruption, Roscosmos, the space agency of the county, says he knows what happened and how to fix it. Instead of delaying the next flight with astronauts – originally scheduled for December 20 – it is moving upward until December 3rd.
Sure for his Russian counterpart, NASA has signed this. And Anne McClain, the American astronaut following the flight rotation, says she's ready to stretch and go. "I would have picked up Soyuz the next day," he told reporters Friday.
On October 11, a Russian rocket Soyuz suffered a failure less than three minutes before the flight when one of the side amplifiers failed to separate properly and hit the rocket.
Roscosmos said the accident was caused by a "distorted" sensor damaged during the rocket assembling that caused the problem of separating souvenirs. Since the accident, Russia has successfully thrown the Soy three times without crews, restoring confidence in the system.
In an interview on Friday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Roscosmos is "very transparent." They have shared with us all the data we need to be comfortable and confident that we understand the problem and that it is resolved. "
He said the flight moved up to "take our crew up there as soon as possible" from the failure of the last mission. Scott Kelly, the former NASA astronaut who spent almost a year in space, said it made sense since two of the three crew members on the next flight were "recruits" who had not been recovered in space. Passing to the station earlier will "give the crew time to make an effective transfer," he said. "I could see why they would want to move the flight earlier if they could do it safely."
Although the latter was disappointing, the latest mission was considered in the framework of NASA as "a very successful failed jet," as Bridenstine said, as the crews returned to Earth safely. After the booster collided with the missile, the spacecraft was instantly removed from the missile, carrying the astronauts – a Russian, an American – on a wild walk near the edge of the space.
During the escape, the couple was hit back in the seats, experienced 7 Gs or seven times the force of gravity. NASA's astronaut Nica Hague recently told reporters that the first thing he noticed "is violently shuffling from one side to the other. The alarm sounds, a light flashes and "as soon as I saw the light, I knew we had an emergency with the amplifier."
The Hague and his Russian counterpart, Alexei Ophinin, were also found immediately by the rescue teams, much better than a notorious missed launch in 1975 when the Soviet Union cosmonauts landed in a remote part of eastern Russia on the snowy slope of a mountain and almost collapsed from a rock. (It was a day later.) But even when the nasty go right, they should not happen in the first place. This was dangerously close to what is known in the lingo space industry as a "bad day". Space travel is inherently dangerous, but NASA and its partners are trying to reduce the risk.
It seems to be a "fairly simple assembly error they did as they put the rocket together," said Wayne Hale, who served as a former NASA space shuttle. "It has nothing to do with the basic plan."
The accident follows the discovery of a small, perforated hole of mysterious origin in a section.
The hole is the subject of a separate survey by Roscosmos. The Russians have scolded the idea of sabotage. The hole was awkwardly corrected since it was created and when the patch failed a small air leak from the station triggered alarms. The hole has since been corrected and is not seen as a threat to Sochi's readmission because it is part of the spacecraft that is being launched into space.
The two anomalies – the failure of the launch and the Soyuz hole – are almost certainly irrelevant, according to industry experts. But it is a business that would like to be zero the current number of anomalies being investigated, not two.
Bridenstine said the two problems "raise questions" but do not want to comment until the investigation is completed.
The episodes also serve as a reminder that the Shoe is the only way for people to reach the International Space Station. If Soyuz had to be grounded for a long time, NASA and its associates may need to temporarily leave the station.
"I will not put the crew at risk to keep it full," said Mike Suffredini, president and chief executive of Axiom Space, which is developing private space stations.
Similarly, a NASA Security Advisory Board last month said that with the desire to stay on schedule, "there is the potential for the workforce – to try to tackle unrealistic dates and pressures to" go ahead with it "- start date. "
McClain said he had confidence that Roscosmos had corrected the problem by putting "the three important questions: What happened? Why did it happen? And how do we ensure it will not happen again? No one would give green light until these three questions are answered."