It was only a few weeks since Russia’s Soyuz rocket launch against the International Space Station ended suddenly due to an unspecified failure, sending the two passengers back to the ground where they landed safely. NASA immediately offered a show of support for the Russian space program and said things would work in short order.
Confidence seems to have been well-placed, as NASA’s administrator Jim Bridenstine now says that Soyuz rocket launches are expected to resume shortly and that scheduled December flights are still on track. Bridenstine made comments during a meeting of the National Space Council.
“We have a number of Russian Soyuz rocket launches in the next and a half months, and in December we are fully waiting to put our crew on a Russian Soyuz rocket to launch to the International Space Station again,” Bridenstine explained during the meeting. “We have a real, really good idea of what the matter is. We are very close to understanding it even better, so we can restart.”
The “really good idea” of what went wrong is likely to be the same explanation that Roscosmos was developed after investigating launch errors and the timing of how things were happening. In the days that immediately followed the event, the Russian space group had developed a theory that the rocket stages had in some way collided under a separate process because of “a deviation from the standard track.” Simply put the rocket’s stroke on its own way.
With regard to the crew whose mission was very short, Bridenstine noted that both of them are still keen to go to space despite the unfortunate chin. “While our astronaut and their cosmonaut are safe, they are not satisfied,” Bridenstine told the council. “They want to be at the International Space Station, and they can not wait to go again. So we are grateful for their enthusiasm. NASA reorganizes, we replicate and we get ready to go again.”