Oct. 11, 2018

Soyuz rocket failure and emergency landing signals ‘mature’ spaceflight tech

A U.S.-Russian crew is safe after their Russian Soyuz rocket failed during its launch to the International Space Station on Thursday — forcing a ballistic re-entry to Earth and an emergency landing. While the rocket’s failure raised questions about what went wrong, the crew’s successful emergency landing is a good sign for spaceflight tech, according to former NASA Chief Technologist.

Mason Peck is professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University and former NASA Chief Technologist.


Peck says:

“The good news, of course, is that the crew landed safely. And that’s part of an important story here: the failure responses of the hardware and the operations team were successful. 

“Much like Apollo 13, whose crew returned to Earth despite a catastrophic failure of the command module, this event shows that human spaceflight technology is mature enough to be safe despite inevitable imperfections.”

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