Soyuz MS-10
Expedition 57 Launch (NHQ201810110004).jpg
Launch of the Soyuz-FG rocket carrying the MS-10 spacecraft
Mission typeISS crew rotation (intended)
Mission duration19 minutes, 41 seconds
Orbits completedFailed to orbit
Apogee93.0 km (sub-orbital spaceflight)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeSoyuz-MS (11F747)
ManufacturerRKK Energia
Start of mission
Launch date11 October 2018, 08:40 UTC
RocketSoyuz-FG (U15000-064)
Launch siteBaikonur Pad 1/5
End of mission
Landing date11 October 2018, 08:59 UTC
Landing site20 km east of Jezkazgan, Kazakhstan
Soyuz MS-08 backup crew in front of the Soyuz spacecraft mockup.jpg

Hague (left) and Ovchinin (right)
Soyuz programme
(Crewed missions)

Soyuz MS-10 was a crewed Soyuz MS spaceflight that aborted shortly after launch on 11 October 2018[1][2] due to a failure of the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle boosters.[3][4] MS-10 was the 139th flight of a Soyuz spacecraft. It was intended to transport two members of the Expedition 57 crew to the International Space Station. A few minutes after liftoff, the craft went into contingency abort due to a booster failure and had to return to Earth. By the time the contingency abort was declared, the launch escape system (LES) tower had already been ejected and the capsule was pulled away from the rocket using the solid rocket jettison motors on the capsule fairing.[5] Both crew members, Roscosmos cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague, were recovered in good health.[3] The MS-10 flight abort was the first instance of a Russian crewed booster accident in 35 years, since Soyuz T-10-1 exploded on the launch pad in September 1983.[6][7][8] On 1 November 2018, Russian scientists released a video recording of the mission.[9]


Nick Hague (above) and Aleksey Ovchinin (below), pictured at Pad 1/5 before launch.
Nick Hague (above) and Aleksey Ovchinin (below), pictured at Pad 1/5 before launch.
Prime crew
Position Crew member
Commander Russia Aleksey Ovchinin, RSA
Expedition 57
Second spaceflight
Flight Engineer 1 United States Nick Hague, NASA
Expedition 57
First spaceflight
Backup crew
Position[10] Crew member
Commander Russia Oleg Kononenko, RSA
Flight Engineer 1 Canada David Saint-Jacques, CSA


Launch vehicle, plume from escape tower, 4 boosters, and debris after separation (left) and the crew greeting their families in Baikonur hours after landing (right).

A few minutes after liftoff, which took place at 08:40 UTC, the crew reported feeling weightless, and mission control declared a booster had failed. According to Sergei Krikalyov of Roscosmos, the primary cause of the failure was a collision that occurred during the separation of the carrier rocket's first and second stages. "A deviation from the standard trajectory occurred and apparently the lower part of the second stage disintegrated," he said.[11] Shortly after, a contingency was declared and the spacecraft carrying the crew performed an emergency separation, returning to Earth in a ballistic trajectory, during which the crew experienced "about six to seven times Earth's gravity" followed by a successful landing.[12] The abort occurred at an altitude of approximately 50 kilometres (31 miles);[5] the spacecraft reached an apogee of 93 km (58 mi) then landed 19 minutes and 41 seconds after launch.[13] At 08:55 UTC the search and rescue team was deployed to recover the crew and the spacecraft, which had landed 402 kilometres (250 mi) from the launch site and 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Jezkazgan, Kazakhstan.[14] Approximately 25 minutes after the search and rescue team took off, NASA announced they were in contact with Ovchinin and Hague. NASA TV broadcast photographs of the crew undergoing medical tests and apparently healthy at Jezkazgan Airport at 12:04 UTC.[15] The crew flew to the Baikonur Cosmodrome to meet their families[16] before leaving for Moscow.[17]


Following the aborted spaceflight, the Russian government announced that crewed Soyuz launches would be temporarily suspended. Roscosmos ordered a full state commission to investigate the incident,[18] and the BBC reported that a criminal investigation was also expected.[19] A few weeks prior to the failed launch, another investigation had commenced into how a hole came to be drilled into the wall of the Soyuz MS-09 capsule that was then docked at the International Space Station.[20] After collecting the debris of the rocket, the commission started the investigation on 15 October 2018.[21] Initially a faulty cable connecting to the first stage booster was suspected, but by 17 October 2018 the commission was concentrating on the manufacturing sequence of the Soyuz rocket, and set the investigation deadline to 21 October 2018.[22] By 18 October 2018, the failure to correctly mate the first stage booster with the first stage core was identified as the likely cause of the flight abort. The side booster was likely damaged and re-contacted the core during stage separation.[23] On 22 October 2018, the investigation deadline was extended to 30 October 2018, with a preliminary report tentatively blaming a damaged separation sensor failing to activate the separation motor of one of the side boosters, similar to an uncrewed flight failure in 1986.[24] The commission report was provided on 31 October 2018, concluding that a ball joint supporting the errant side booster was deformed during assembly, preventing proper separation of the side booster, while the sensor and separation motor had worked properly.[25]

After the investigation identified an assembly error that would require no material change to the Soyuz-FG configuration, the next crewed Soyuz flight (MS-11) was scheduled for 3 December 2018.[26] Within a day of the incident Dmitry Rogozin, chief of Roscosmos, said that Ovchinin and Hague would fly again in early 2019.[27] In December 2018, it was announced that Ovchinin and Hague would fly on Soyuz MS-12 as part of Expedition 59/60 with Ovchinin serving as Commander of Expedition 60.[28] MS-12 launched successfully on 14 March 2019, achieving the mission that MS-10 had failed.[29]

The MS-10 descent module was installed outside of Roscosmos headquarters. It was unveiled 2 December 2019.[30]

See also


  1. ^ NASA (17 September 2018). "Expedition 57". Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  2. ^ Pietrobon, Steven (5 February 2017). "Russian Launch Manifest". Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b Garcia, Mark (11 October 2018). "Crew in Good Condition After Booster Failure". NASA Space Station. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  4. ^ Harwood, William (11 October 2018). "Soyuz crew lands safely after emergency launch abort". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b Zak, Anatoly. "Soyuz MS-10 makes emergency landing after a launch failure". Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  6. ^ Sanchez, Merri J. (March 2000). "A Human Factors Evaluation of a Methodology for Pressurized Crew Module Acceptability for Zero-Gravity Ingress of Spacecraft" (PDF). Houston, Texas: Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2006. Retrieved 20 October 2007.
  7. ^ Zak, Anatoly. "History of Soyuz Escape System". Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  8. ^ Evans, Ben (28 September 2013). "'We Were Swearing!' Thirty Years Since Russia's Brush With Disaster". AmericaSpace.
  9. ^ Berger, Eric (1 November 2018). "Dramatic footage of Soyuz accident shows rocket booster collision - For the second human launch in a row, there's a likely quality control issue". Ars Technica. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  10. ^ (20 May 2018). "Manned Spaceflight Launch and Landing Schedule". Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Roscosmos reveals cause for Soyuz launch failure". AzerNews. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  12. ^ Hodge, Nathan; Smith-Spark, Laura (11 October 2018). "Astronauts survive Soyuz rocket emergency landing". CNN. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  13. ^ Burghardt, Thomas (18 October 2018). "NASA and Roscosmos trying to avoid an empty Space Station –". Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  14. ^ Bridenstine, Jim [@JimBridenstine] (11 October 2018). "@NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are in good condition following today's aborted launch. I'm grateful that everyone is safe. A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted. Full statement below: …" (Tweet) – via Twitter. anomaly with the booster and the launch ascent was aborted
  15. ^ NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV NASA TV, 11 October 2018.
  16. ^ Expedition 57 Crew Returns to Baikonur (NHQ201810110007) NASA at Flickr, 11 October 2018.
  17. ^ @Ruptly (11 October 2018). "*EXCLUSIVE* #SoyuzMS10 crew departs Baikonur for Moscow" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  18. ^ "Astronauts escape malfunctioning Soyuz rocket". BBC News. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Investigation starts into dramatic Soyuz rocket breakdown". BBC News. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  20. ^ Sample, Ian (11 October 2018). "Rocket launches to be grounded while mid-air failure is investigated". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Роскосмос. Госкомиссия приступила к работе на РКЦ «Прогресс» 15.10.2018 10:15". Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  22. ^ ""Роскосмос" назвал дату готовности доклада об аварии "Союза"" (in Russian). 17 October 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  23. ^ "Эксперты назвали виновных в крушении "Союза МС-10"". Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  24. ^ СМИ: причиной аварии "Союза" стало повреждение штока между первой и второй ступенями
  25. ^ «Роскосмос» назвал причину крушения «Союза»
  26. ^ "Назначены даты отправки и возвращения с МКС космонавтов после аварии на Байконуре" [Dates assigned for next flights of cosmonauts to and from the ISS after the Baikonur incident] (in Russian). Interfax. 21 October 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  27. ^ RT (12 October 2018). "Safe & sound: Soyuz crew returns to Moscow after rocket malfunction" – via YouTube.
  28. ^ "NASA Astronaut Nick Hague Set for New Space Station Mission After Abort". NASA. 3 December 2018.
  29. ^ Gebhardt, Chris (14 March 2019). "Soyuz MS-12 docks with the Space Station –".
  30. ^ "Soyuz capsule that flew emergency abort lands on display in Moscow". collectSPACE. 4 December 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.