"The abnormal separation was caused by the nonopening of the lid of the nozzle meant to separate aside Block D oxidizer tank, due to the deformation of the separation sensor pin [which was bent by 6 degrees and 45 minutes]", Roscosmos officials said in a statement today.
A Russian space investigation has found that sensor that was damaged during assembly forced a Russian rocket to abort its trip two minutes after it was launched, a top Russian official said Thursday.
That target date falls less than eight weeks after the October 11 launch anomaly, which forced the Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin to make an emergency landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan.
In the aborted mission, a space capsule carrying a two-man Russian-American crew malfunctioned after liftoff and landed safely in Kazakhstan.
"The reason found by the commission (investigating the accident) was the abnormal operation of a sensor that signals the separation of the first and second stages", Krikalyov said at a space industry event in Moscow.
Russian space agency Roscosmos aired footage filmed by an onboard camera, showing the Soyuz blasting off and climbing normally until three of its booster rockets detach, with one of them appearing to fall inwards, rather than away from it.
The last time Russian Federation saw an aborted manned launch was in 1983, when two Soviet cosmonauts jettisoned and landed safely after a launch pad explosion.
Executive director of Russia's Roscosmos space agency Sergei Krikalyov said Wednesday that the root of the problem was a sensor that indicated the separation of the first two stages of the Soyuz rocket.
It was the third launch of a Soyuz rocket from Russia's northern Plesetsk launch pad this year, the military said.
They warned that two other Soyuz rockets could be defective, and said additional checks have been introduced.
"It was damaged during the assembling of the strap-on boosters with the core stage at the Baikonur Cosmodrome".
The accident was the first serious launch problem experienced by a manned Soyuz space mission since 1983 when a crew narrowly escaped before a launchpad explosion. The Soyuz rocket-spaceship duo has been astronauts' only ride to and from the orbiting lab since NASA grounded its space shuttle fleet in 2011.
Krikalev said the next launch will now be moved forward to December 3, and will carry the same crew as originally intended on this mission, MS-11: Russian Oleg Kononenko, American Anne McClain, and Canadian David Saint-Jacques.