Russian Soyuz Rocket Failure Caused By Damaged Sensor, Reveals Probe

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The Canadian Space Agency said it is still awaiting confirmation of details regarding Saint-Jacques' mission.

Although the official report on the cause of a Soyuz rocket failure won't be released until Thursday, a Russian official disclosed its central conclusion a day early, the country's news agency TASS reports.

The rocket had been transporting two personnel, one Russian and one American, to the International Space Station (ISS) when they had to abort.

The rocket producer will also take apart two other rockets which have been recently assembled and are due to launch in the coming weeks and then re-assemble them, Skorogobatov said.

Russian rockets have experienced an array of glitches in recent years, but the latest mishap was the first to be experienced by a manned Soyuz capsule since 1983, when a crew narrowly escaped before a launchpad explosion.

The Soyuz rocket launched at 08:40 local time (02:40 GMT) from the Baikanour cosmodrome site on 11 October when the malfunction occurred.

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The findings of an official investigation into the incident were presented at a press conference on Thursday.

Krikalyov said the astronauts now on the ISS - Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos-are expected to back on Earth "around December 20".

Despite their dramatic descent and landing, both men were recovered unharmed, the space agencies said.

Last week, Russian Federation successfully launched a Soyuz rocket for the first time since the failure.

Russian rockets are manufactured in Russia and then transported by rail to the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome.

Sergei Krikalev, the executive director of "manned programs" for Russia's space corporation, Roscosmos, said a sensor on board the rocket failed to properly signal the separation of the first and second stages. They have been driven to do this because, at present, the Soyuz spacecraft is the only means by which NASA, Russia, and their global partners have of getting people to and from the station.

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