April 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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A Russian Soyuz rocket suffers a rare last-minute abort while launching 3 astronauts to the International Space Station (video)

A Russian Soyuz rocket suffers a rare last-minute abort while launching 3 astronauts to the International Space Station (video)

A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying three astronauts bound for the International Space Station suffered a rare abort on the launch pad on Thursday (March 21) as the crew waited expectantly inside their spacecraft.

The miscarriage occurred just 21 seconds before a Soyuz rocket launched NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, and space flight participant Marina Vasilevskaya from Belarus to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Liftoff was scheduled for 9:21 a.m. EDT (1321 GMT).

“The Soyuz launch to the space station has been cancelled,” NASA spokesman Rob Navias said during live commentary. He added, “Therefore, there are no visitors to the International Space Station today. The next opportunity to launch, waiting for a solution to what happened today, will be Saturday morning.”

“No reason has yet been given for the miscarriage,” Navias said.

Related: The International Space Station – everything you need to know

A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying the three Soyuz MS-25 astronauts from Expedition 71 is seen on the launch pad on March 21, 2024, before a last-minute abort that occurred at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Image credit: NASA TV)

The abort was performed by an automatic system shortly before the engine ignited, Navias said. Two umbilical links were pulled away from the rocket before the planned launch. Russian space agency Roscosmos sent engineers to the launch pad shortly after the abort to ensure the vehicle was safe and the crew could be extracted.