Source: Popsci

Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin were lucky enough to survive the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft ballistic landing. In just about two minutes of the ascent, the Russian ground control identified the failure of the booster. If you watch the official NASA Live Stream of the incident, you will hear the exact words ,”failure of the booster.”

This made the crew to go into ballistic descent mode, which actually helped the crew to survive the landing. But what actually is “ballistic descent?”


According to NASA, Ballistic Descent is just descent at a much sharper angle compared to normal. During a normal descent, the spacecraft is at a complete shallow angle. This enables the spacecraft to slowly conquer the effects of the gravitational forces on the astronauts. However, this is just an ideal case. Sometimes, the spacecraft has to enter at an steeper angle, just like of a projectile. And hence that kind of descent is known as ballistic descent.

This was not the first time Soyuz has gone for such a descent. In 1969, Soyuz 5 went on a terrifying descent which even broke the teeth of one of the astronauts within. It happened again in 2003, when a ballistic descent was made some 300 miles short of the landing zone. In 2008, a terrifying 23 minutes descent was made by Soyuz landing 260 miles short.

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Although the landing was safe and sound for the astronauts, this project raised a lot of questions about Russia’s space mission.
Source- Pospsci