1st successful astronaut survival of exploding rocket
US Apollo program had a Launch Escape System that could pull the crew module away from the rocket in the case where the rocket blew up. It never had to be used.
Soyuz has something similar. They used it for the first time in history today, saving a cosmonaut and an astronaut when the rocket blew up (probably sabotage given last month's sabotage) following launch.
October 11th, 2018 5:15am
And by today I mean an hour ago. They have not even gotten to the soyuz module, but it landed in the wilderness after the rocket blew up a few minutes ago and they've confirmed via radio the crew members are not dead.
October 11th, 2018 5:18am
Not an explosion.
Launch was 90 minutes ago. Seems like the 3rd stage engines did not ignite, well after launch, leaving them incapable of achieving orbit. So they initiated capsule separation and descended to Whereversville.
They've gotten out of the capsule and have unpacked, for the first time, the bear gun that Soyuz famously has carried for decades to handle this scenario.
October 11th, 2018 5:23am
This shows the current design and the typical flight path from the launch center.
You can see from where the third stage ignites that they are now either in far eastern Kazakhstan, or possibly even Altai or Tuva.
October 11th, 2018 5:29am
October 11th, 2018 5:35am
October 11th, 2018 5:37am
Before the failure there's a lot of chatter in Russian.
So about 2m08s into flight starts the descent.
October 11th, 2018 5:41am
Hm, so they started retiring the bear gun in 2007 and are only using a semiautomatic pistol now. Pity!
October 11th, 2018 5:42am
Recovery team reached them a half hour ago, they were already outside the capsule. They're getting ready to take them back.
This is obviously sabotage.
And there's only one suspect - who has everything to gain by killing off the Soyuz program while astronauts are on the ISS, creating in their mind pressure to quickly certify some other option? Someone would have to be known to have disregard for human life, be a megalomaniac, mentally ill, and have connections throughout the space industry allowing them to bribe someone at the plants that makes the rockets and capsules, where we already have seen sabotage taking place.
Hm, who fits that description?
That's what's going on here.
October 11th, 2018 5:54am
OK so the translators are on the case. They discuss successful first stage separation. Then a bit later he says "Booster failure." So it seems it was the second stage that didn't ignite, not the third stage.
October 11th, 2018 6:06am
It's interesting since it has a pregenerated computer animation that you assume is somehow representing the current state of the rocket, yet it's complete bullshit, the entire thing was prerendered. Also an american woman's voice is faked in advance and is just rolling without awareness of what is going on.
In the background is the actual live feed, you can listen to the translator in real time who is clearly more panicked than the crew members who are just initiating well learned emergency maneuvers for exactly this failure mode.
October 11th, 2018 6:11am
I wonder the Russian wants to make another 81 mil. That is what it costs to send an astronaut on their Soyuz. Oooops, it didn't work. We have to relaunch. Please send us another check.
October 11th, 2018 8:09am
They didn't use the escape rocket - it had already detached. They did a gravity assisted return, which means "fell to earth"