#TIA – When it comes to the total collapse of Russia’s space empire we say not so fast and never say never. But this was a setback of sorts.
“Two-and-a-half minutes into their flight on Thursday, cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and astronaut Tyler Hague felt the anticipated rattle and shake as the four clusters of booster rockets separated and fell away. But then the rattling continued and the g-force of acceleration that was supposed to take them to the International Space Station (ISS) was replaced by a moment of weightlessness. The core engine of their rocket had failed. Ovchinin successfully separated their Soyuz spacecraft from the rocket, which – after a 34-minute-long and 50 kilometre “ballistic descent” – landed safely in a plume of dust not far from Russia’s Baikonur spaceport.
It was not just their spacecraft that was brought down to Earth. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the soaring reputation of Russia’s space programme has suffered its very own ballistic descent. And now, with the failure of the Soyuz launch, it lies firmly in the dust.”
Read more at Wired