Russian Federation targets Dec 3 date for first manned ISS launch after accident

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The investigation by Roscosmos revealed that a damaged sensor during the rocket's assembly at the cosmodrome in Kazakhstan caused the rocket failure.

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 reassemble them, Skorogobatov said.

The Soyuz MS-10 attempts to separates into its second stage about two minutes into its flight and immediately starts spinning out of control.

Officials believe the sensor's failure caused a booster rocket from the first stage to malfunction and hit a fuel tank, which led to the loss of stabilisation and the emergency landing.

Russian cosmonaut Aleksei Ovchinin and United States astronaut Nick Hague were aboard the capsule bound for the ISS and were unhurt in the incident, according to reports.

They added that the uncrewed Progress MS-10 cargo ship, which launches on a Soyuz-FG rocket, will fly to the space station November 16, and that the next crew launch, Soyuz MS-11, will fly December 3.

The accident was the first serious launch problem experienced by a manned Soyuz space mission since 1983, when a crew narrowly escaped before a launch pad explosion.

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The current ISS crew, the ESA's Alexander Gerst, NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, and Roscosmos' Sergey Prokopyev, are expected to return to Earth around December 20, a week after their originally-scheduled December 13 descent.

Speaking at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Krikalev said the sensor in question "should signal the removal of the first rocket stage from the second".

As a result, one of the side-mounted rocket boosters did not separate properly from the vehicle and collided with the rocket.

Ovchinin and Hague returned safely back to Earth in their capsule, and are likely get their chance to go to the space station in the spring, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin has said.

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

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

They had initially been scheduled to land on December 13 after their stint on the ISS, a joint project of the space agencies of America, Europe, Russia, Japan and Canada.

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