officials held a press conference to reveal that they have determined what caused last month’s Soyuz mid-flight failure. The culprit: a damaged sensor on one of the rocket’s four boosters responsible for stage separation. With the investigation complete, the officials announced that they will move up the date of the next crew launch to the International Space Station.
The investigation has captured international attention because the Soyuz rocket is currently the only vehicle capable of transporting people to and from the ISS. Russian space agency officials confirmed that the faulty sensor, designed to signal stage separation, had caused one of the boosters to improperly separate. This led the first and second stages of the rocket to collide, which then triggered the vehicle’s emergency abort system.
“The launch failure was caused by an abnormal separation of one of the strap-on boosters that hit with its nose the core stage in the fuel tank area,” said Oleg Skorobogatov, deputy director of the Central Research Institute of Machine-Building who led the investigation, in a statement.
Video of the incident, released today by the space agency, shows the accident from the rocket’s point of view. In it, the booster in question strikes the core of the rocket, causing a significant jolt, which triggered the abort. According to officials, the afflicted sensor rod was bent slightly during the assembly of the rocket. To check for any handling errors that might have also affected other rockets, Russian officials said that all assembled Soyuz rockets—and their attached booster pack—will be taken apart and put together anew.
Uber and Yandex’s ride-sharing businesses can merge in Russia, anti-monopoly regulator FAS ruled on Friday, but stipulated that the combined company not bar drivers from working for competitors.
Uber and Yandex, often referred to as the “Google of Russia”, announced plans in July to combine operations in 127 cities in Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan.
San Francisco-based Uber has agreed to invest $225 million (roughly Rs. 1,454 crores) while Yandex will contribute $100 million (roughly Rs. 647 crores) into a new joint company in which Yandex will own 59.3 percent.
The two companies must allow their partners, drivers and passengers to work for or use competitors’ services and fully inform users of the legal entity providing the service, the FAS said in a statement.
Yandex said consumers would be able to use both Yandex.Taxi and Uber apps, while their driver apps will be integrated, leading to shorter passenger wait times, increased driver utilisation rates, and higher service reliability.
The companies aim to close the deal in January 2018, after the New Year holidays in Russia, Yandex said in a statement.
Moscow-listed Yandex was up 3.47 percent as of 11:23am GMT.
It said the anti-monopoly regulator in Belarus had also approved the deal while a decision by the Kazakh regulator was pending.
Russia Detains Nine ‘Hackers’ Over $17 Million Bank Thefts
Russia has detained nine people alleged to be part of a cybercrime ring accused of stealing some $17 million dollars from bank accounts, the interior ministry said Wednesday.
The detentions followed a nationwide manhunt. The FSB security agency launched a major operation last year against the alleged 50-strong “hacker group” that pilfered more than RUB 1 billion ($16.8 million, EUR 15.8 million) since 2013, the statement said.
“Nine individuals suspected of participating in hacking attacks were detained on January 25,” ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk said. One was placed under arrest.
A total of 27 members and organisers are being investigated, with 19 of them now under arrest in pre-trial jail, the ministry said.
Unnamed security sources on Wednesday told Russian agencies that the latest arrests are connected to a case against legendary hacking collective Lurk that was targeted by law enforcement agencies in a sweep last year.
According to cyber-security giant Kaspersky, the group was reportedly suspected of stealing some three billion rubles from commercial organisations that included banks.
Russian hackers are in the spotlight over their alleged involvement in cyber-attacks targeting the US presidential election campaign but experts say the vast majority of cybercrime in the country is financial.
The FSB itself is also currently caught up in another murky scandal that has seen at least two of its top cyber-security experts arrested for treason linked to the United States, a lawyer involved in the case has said.
That treason case has also seen the arrest of Ruslan Stoyanov – the head of Kaspersky’s cyber-security unit that probed Lurk.
Tags: Cyber Attack, Internet, Russia