As NASA and its Russian counterpart Roscosmos continue to investigate what went wrong during last week's crew launch to the International Space Station, both agencies' chiefs have expressed confidence in Soyuz's ability to fly again soon.
Yesterday (Oct. 14), Bridenstine shared video clips on Twitter from a news conference held in the aftermath of Thursday's failed launch. "I fully anticipate at this point that we will fly again on a Russian Soyuz rocket, and I have no reason to believe at this point that it won't be on schedule," he said in the clip.
His counterpart, Dmitry Rogozin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, has also shown no sign of backing down from his faith in the Soyuz rocket's future. "This rocket has a long history of failureless execution," he said in a clip shared by NASA. As one would expect, he also expressed gratitude that the crew capsule's safety mechanism worked and both astronauts landed safely.
Rogozin has also stated on Twitter that he was confident Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin would fly again, and that he was hoping to schedule that flight for the spring of 2019.
Throughout the aftermath of the launch failure, NASA has expressed confidence in Roscosmos and its operations, and there's no sign that it will call off the partnership on the basis of swirling concerns about the state of Russian spaceflight manufacturing. "I have so much confidence in this relationship," Bridenstine said. "I look forward to a very bright future for both of these countries and for all of our international partners."
Nevertheless, Bridenstine has been open about the difficulty of the situation as it has unfolded. In a public-affairs interview conducted last week, he got emotional discussing the time between the failure and when the astronauts' safety was confirmed. "The NASA family has to be so proud of all the people that worked so hard and prepared so well for this," he said. "We had the right people in the right place."