Crew safe after Soyuz launch aborted 20 seconds before liftoff

Pavel Mikheev/Pool/Reuters

NASA astronaut Tracy Dyson (left) with Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and space flight participant Marina Vasilevskaya of Belarus wave toward the crowd as they head to the launch pad at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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Three crew members are safe after their scheduled launch to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan was automatically canceled Thursday morning, according to a NASA live broadcast.

NASA astronaut Tracy C. Dyson, Roscosmos astronaut Oleg Novitsky and space flight participant Marina Vasilevskaya are expected to lift off from Belarus aboard the Roscosmos Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft at 9:21 a.m. ET and arrive at the space station about three hours later.

But 20 seconds before launch, an automatic abort occurred after the second of two umbilical cord towers, or service towers, on the side of the Soyuz rocket failed to start the engine sequence.

“We don't know why at this point,” according to NASA's broadcast of the launch.

Bill Ingels/NASA

A Soyuz rocket was seen shortly after being lifted to the launch pad on March 18 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The crew was informed by mission control shortly after the problem that they would not be launching to the space station. All refueling operations were halted and safety orders were issued to prevent any potential danger to the crew.

The crew's next opportunity to launch is Saturday morning, but whether it will go ahead depends on whether engineers are able to identify the cause of the spontaneous abort and resolve it in time.

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The abort was “by ground support equipment due to a low voltage reading in the Soyuz rocket’s electrical system,” according to an update shared by NASA. The Saturday launch window depends on when the State Committee's review of the launch of Roscosmos is completed.

The miscarriage did not affect me Launch a separate cargo resupply missionIt launched at 4:55 pm ET from Cape Canaveral in Florida and will dock at the space station on Saturday morning. SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft is carrying new science probes, food, supplies and equipment on that journey.

Just before the broadcast of the Soyuz launch attempt ended, service towers next to the rocket and crew capsule were raised to enable engineers to extract the crew and return them to their accommodations.

When the launch is rescheduled, Dyson, Novitsky, and Vasilevskaya will travel to join NASA astronauts Loral O'Hara, Matthew Dominick, Mike Barratt, and Janet Epps, as well as Roscosmos astronauts Oleg Kononenko, Nikolai Chub, and Alexander Grebenkin, who are all already aboard the spacecraft. Space station.

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