A special commission investigating the causes of the August 24 failed launch of Russia’s Soyuz carrier rocket has recommended enhancing the control of the production of engines for Soyuz rockets, Russian space agency Roscosmos said.
A Soyuz rocket engine failure resulted in the loss of the Progress M-12M space freighter on August 24, the first loss of a Progress freighter in the history of Russia’s space industry. The freighter failed to separate from the rocket and fell in South Siberia’s Altai Republic.
A clogged fuel supply pipe caused the engine failure, the commission discovered, describing the defect as “accidental,” Roscosmos said. However, the space agency said, the commission still recommended introducing additional control procedures to ensure that other similar engines do not have same defects.
The recommendation follows an order by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to review and improve control procedures in the space industry that came after the August 24 accident, another one is a series of misfortunes faced by Russia’s space industry over the last nine months.
After the retirement of the U.S. shuttle fleet earlier this summer, Russian Soyuz spacecraft became the only way for astronauts to reach the ISS until at least the middle of the decade. NASA is paying its Russian counterpart Roscosmos more than $1 billion for crew transport services over the next four years.