Roscosmos Requests Enhancement of Quality Control for Soyuz Rocket Engines


Soyuz-U launch vehicle carrying the Progress M12-M cargo vehicle during rolling out (Source: RSC Energia).

According to the Russian press agency Ria Novosti, the special commission investigating the causes of the August 24 failed launch of Russia’s Soyuz carrier rocket has recommended to enhance quality control of engine production for for Soyuz rockets. A third stage engine failure has caused the loss of Progress M12-M cargo vehicle, first loss of such vehicles in operational history; the spacecraft burned up reentering the atmosphere, and its fragments have been dispersed over the Altai region of Siberia. Roscosmos said that the most likely cause of the accident is a clogged fuel supply pipe: although the defect has been deemed accidental, the commission recommended introducing additional control procedure to prevent similar defects in the future.

The Soyuz rocket, which powers the Progres spacecraft, is also the only way for astronauts to reach the ISS: according to Ria-Novosti, NASA is paying Roscosmos more than $1 billion for crew transport services over the next four years.



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Andrea Gini

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Andrea Gini is a content strategy consultant specialized in companies of the space sector. He is founder of Space Safety Magazine, where he held the position of Editor-in-Chief until March 2015. Between 2011 and 2013 he worked in the European Space Agency in the Independent Safety Office, which overviews the utilization of the International Space Station. He previously worked as Software Developer, IT Consultant, and trainer of Java-related technologies. Andrea holds a BSc and an MSc in computer science from the University of Milano, a Master in Communication of Science from the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste and a MSc in Space Studies from the International Space University.

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