The launch of the Soyuz 2.1A carrier rocket with the Progress MS-08 transport cargo vehicle was postponed to its reserve date, February 13. During its scheduled launch attempt, the engine shut down automatically, for reasons that are still being investigated. This was reported to RBC by the press service of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos).
The launch was supposed to take place at the Baikonur launch site. An interlocutor of TASS said that the launch was postponed due to a conflict between the onboard and ground components of the Central Board Computing System. “The situation is similar to the October launch of the Progress MS-07,” he said.
RIA Novosti’s source in the rocket and space sector confirmed that the launch did not take place due to failures in the onboard computing system. “The onboard digital computer transmitted exactly the same data as last time. There are probably some problems with the computing system,” the interlocutor noted.
The previous Soyuz launch was tasked to deliver the Progress MS-07 cargo vehicle to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on October 13, 2017. That too was postponed to the next day. Interfax said then that the launch was postponed due to technical problems with the electrical system or control system of the rocket.
On October 14, the carrier rocket was successfully launched to the international space station. The spacecraft carried two tons of cargo including fuel, food, water, oxygen and equipment to maintain the work of the station.
The first start of the Soyuz 2.1a from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome was also postponed by one day and took place on April 28, 2016. A venting hole did not close at the time. To fix it, fuel had to be drained and it took most of the day.
Russian President Vladimir Putin monitored the launch of the rocket at that time and after the delay he reprimanded Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and Roscosmos head Igor Komarov. The General Director of the NPO Automatics (Research and Production Association of Automatics), Leonid Shalimov received a service incompetence warning. Shalimov resigned shortly after.