Russia's Next Mission to ISS May Launch on December 3

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A Russian cosmonaut and USA astronaut were forced to abort their mission on October 11 and perform an emergency landing after a launch accident that Roscomos said was caused by a faulty sensor.

Russian Federation hopes to launch three crew for the International Space Station on December 3, the first manned blast-off since an accident this month, the Roscosmos space agency said Wednesday.

Although the official report on the cause of a Soyuz rocket failure won't be released until Thursday, a Russian official disclosed its central conclusion a day early, the country's news agency TASS reports.

Sergei Krikalyov, a senior Roscosmos official, was quoted by state news agency Tass as saying the next manned launch had been planned for mid-December, but that Russian Federation was trying to bring the date forward so that the ISS is not briefly left without a crew. They are due to return to Earth around December 20.

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques watches a video during a presentation to students at an event, October 24, 2018 in Ottawa.

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Krikalyov said the astronauts now on the ISS - Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos-are expected to back on Earth "around December 20".

Roscosmos immediately set about investigating the launch failure, under time pressure because the current ISS crew had a January deadline to return to Earth.

The satellite launch had originally been planned for October 19 but was postponed after the accident. The first stage with four boosters is used to blast the rocket into the sky, before falling back to Earth, as the second and third stages continue the journey.

Sergei Krikalev, the executive director of "manned programs" for Russia's space corporation, Roscosmos, said a sensor on board the rocket failed to properly signal the separation of the first and second stages.

Roscosmos has scheduled a press conference for November 1 to further detail the outcome of its investigation.

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