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History: Video – Soyuz MS-10 rocket failure simulation

Soyuz MS-10 was a crewed Soyuz MS spaceflight which aborted shortly after launch on 11 October 2018.

MS-10 was the 139th flight of a Soyuz spacecraft. It was intended to transport two members of the Expedition 57 crew to the International Space Station. A few minutes after liftoff, the craft went into contingency abort due to a booster failure and had to return to Earth. By the time the contingency abort was declared, the launch escape system (LES) tower had already been ejected and the capsule was pulled away from the rocket using the launch escape solid rocket motors on the capsule fairing.

Both crew members, Roscosmos cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague, were recovered alive and in good health.

A few minutes after liftoff, which took place at 08:40 UTC, the crew reported feeling weightless, and mission control declared a booster had failed. According to Sergei Krikalyov of Roscosmos, the primary cause of the failure was a collision that occurred during the separation of the carrier rocket’s first and second stages. “A deviation from the standard trajectory occurred and apparently the lower part of the second stage disintegrated,” he said. Shortly after, a contingency was declared and the spacecraft carrying the crew performed an emergency separation, returning to Earth in a ballistic trajectory, during which the crew experienced “about six to seven times Earth’s gravity” followed by a successful landing. The abort occurred at an altitude of approximately 50 kilometres (31 miles); the spacecraft reached an apogee of 93 km (58 mi) then landed 19 minutes and 41 seconds after launch.

At 08:55 UTC the search and rescue team was deployed to recover the crew and the spacecraft, which had landed 402 kilometres (250 mi) from the launch site and 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Jezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Approximately 25 minutes after the search and rescue team took off, NASA announced they were in contact with Ovchinin and Hague.

NASA TV broadcast photographs of the crew undergoing medical tests and apparently healthy at Jezkazgan Airport at 12:04 UTC. The crew flew to the Baikonur Cosmodrome to meet their families before leaving for Moscow.

Header: the crew greeting their families in Baikonur hours after landing (right).