The upcoming Canadian space flight is put on hold

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Soyuz (Wikilmages/Pixabay)

Russia is analyzing Soyuz launch abort

A flight of the Canadian astronaut, David Saint-Jacques, to the International Space Station scheduled for December 20, 2018, is highly likely suspended due to an investigation into the cause of a rocket failure that happened two minutes after its launch from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 11, 2018.

Expedition 57, consisting of the Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and the U.S. astronaut Nick Hague, was interrupted by an anomaly with the booster which activated the Soyuz abort systems and caused the capsule with the space crew to jettison automatically and conduct a ballistic landing. Both spacecraft pilots were found safe shortly after this emergency landing on the steppes of central Kazakhstan. As stated by Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency, Alexey Ovchinin and Nick Hague were transported back to Baikonur for medical checks. On October 12, they are expected to return to Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. The Space Agency also reported that the state commission headed by the Roscosmos Director General, Dmitry Rogozin, had already started its thorough investigation. The results of the investigation were promised to be made public in the immediate future. Until then all manned launches will be postponed, according to the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Yuri Borisov, cited by Interfax.

“The situation is, of course, unpleasant; but as you know, such cases have already happened in the history of astronautics. On the other hand, the efficiency of the emergency rescue systems is confirmed which is very important.”

By means of her Twitter, “a tribute to well-designed abort systems and perfectly executed emergency procedures” was paid by Julie Payette, the 29th Governor General of Canada and the Canadian Astronaut who completed two spaceflights. “Safety of the crew is the utmost priority for all space agencies,” the Canadian Space Agency which is monitoring the situation wrote in their statement. As quoted by the media, Gilles Leclerc, Director General of space exploration at the Canadian Space Agency, confirmed Canada’s plan “to launch David Saint-Jacques as soon as possible to the Space Station: conducting experiments, doing science and being the figurehead of the human spaceflight program for Canada.”

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