Soyuz MS-10 launch became the first manned suborbital space flight in the last 14 years, new analysis reveals

After analysis of the flight dynamics of the Soyuz MS-10 flight, specialists have determined that spacecraft had reached the height necessary for space flight status, NASA reported. Therefore, this flight became the ninth space flight in history and the first manned suborbital space flight in the last 14 years.

NASA flight dynamics specialists determined Hague and Ovchinin achieved enough altitude on their aborted climb to orbit to qualify for previous spaceflight status, making this Hague’s second spaceflight and Ovchinin’s third. The maximum flight height was 93 kilometers.

The flight was the ninth manned suborbital space flight in history. The previous suborbital space flight was on 4 October 2004, when SpaceShipOne, created by the American aerospace engineer Burt Rutan, flew with a maximum altitude of 112 kilometers, after which it landed in the Mojave Desert in California.

The launch of the Soyuz MS-10 manned spacecraft on 11 October 2018 was aborted in the end. Almost immediately, one of the side boosters of the launch vehicle crashed into the central unit, which led to the abort of the flight. The emergency rescue system, as well as the systems involved during the landing, worked properly. The crew of the spacecraft, American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, were not injured and still plan to fly to the ISS on 1 March 2019.

The Soyuz MS-10 crash led to the delay of manned space flights to the ISS and potentially threatened its conservation. However, on 3 December, the next manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-11 successfully launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome and docked with the ISS.