Russia hails resumption of US space shuttle flights

July 2, 2005

MOSCOW, July 2 (AFP) - Russia hailed the US decision to resume the space shuttle program grounded since the Columbia disaster in February 2003 by launching the Discovery shuttle on July 13, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported Friday.

"Resumption of regular flights by US ships will allow the International Space Station (ISS) to go back to a permanent three-member team, as well as continue onstruction," the Roscosmos space agency representative said.

"Besides, it will be far easier to supply the ISS with vital cargo," the official said, pointing out that since US shuttle flights were grounded, all cargo deliveries and changes in the ISS team had to be handled by Russia's unmanned Progress cargo ships and Soyuz piloted craft.

The remaining US shuttles have undergone major safety changes since then and the US space agency has been forced to undertake major reforms following the disaster, which cost the lives of Columbia's seven crew members and severely dented US space prestige.

The disaster was blamed on damage sustained by the spacecraft after it was hit by chunks of insulating foam that broke off during liftoff.

(c) 2005 AFP

Explore further: US astronauts complete spacewalk for ISS maintenance

Related Stories

'New port of call' installed at space station

August 19, 2016

With more private spaceship traffic expected at the International Space Station in the coming years, two spacewalking US astronauts installed a special parking spot for them on Friday.

Recommended for you

Quantum computing advances with control of entanglement

September 27, 2016

When the quantum computer was imagined 30 years ago, it was revered for its potential to quickly and accurately complete practical tasks often considered impossible for mere humans and for conventional computers. But, there ...

Cosmic dust demystified

September 27, 2016

The solar system is a dusty environment, with trillions of cosmic dust particles left behind by comets and asteroids that orbit the sun. All this dust forms a relatively dense cloud through which the Earth travels, sweeping ...

Outrageous heads led to outrageously large dinosaurs

September 27, 2016

Tyrannosaurus rex and other large meat-eating theropods were the biggest baddies on the prehistoric block, and ornaments on their heads could help us figure out why. New research from North Carolina State University shows ...

Physicists develop a more sensitive microscope

September 27, 2016

Anyone who has taken a photo in a poorly lit restaurant or dim concert venue knows all too well the grainy, fuzzy outcomes of low-light imaging. Scientists trying to take images of biological specimens encounter the same ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.