Russia delays commercial space launches after crash

September 13, 2011

Russia will have to delay the upcoming launch of six US satellites and two commercial European craft due to last month's Soyuz carrier rocket mishap, Russian industry sources said Tuesday.

The launch of six Globalstar mobile from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan will have to be pushed back from October to December, Interfax quoted a Russian space official as saying.

The Soyuz accident will also require the recall of two of the four rocket carriers that are being prepared for launches at Kourou, French Guiana, where Russia has been working with the (ESA) under a 2003 accord, another source said.

The delays will not affect the launch of a Soyuz-ST rocket from French Guiana that has been scheduled for October 20 because that mission uses a slightly different modification of the carrier craft, the Russian official said.

A Soyuz-U rocket carrying an unmanned cargo ship to the failed to reach orbit on August 24, prompting Russia to ground its manned flight programme until the causes of the accident are found.

Russia is the only country capable of sending into space, but the accident has also affected the country's lucrative commercial satellite launch programme.

Space officials last week blamed the accident on a one-off production fault in a rocket engine. But they did not name the date of the next manned Soyuz and only requested time for more fine-tuning and checks.

Explore further: Soyuz launch from Europe space base set for October

Related Stories

Soyuz launch from Europe space base set for October

May 10, 2011

The maiden launch of the veteran Soviet-Russian rocket Soyuz from Europe's space base in South America has been scheduled for October, a spokesman for launch operators Arianespace said on Tuesday.

First Soyuz launch from Kourou to go ahead: Arianespace

August 25, 2011

The maiden flight of a Soyuz from Europe's space base will go ahead as scheduled on October 20, as it is a different version from the rocket involved in Wednesday's launch failure by Russia, Arianespace said on Thursday.

Russia's Soyuz: historic symbol of space reliability

August 25, 2011

Russia's Soyuz rocket, which failed to put a Russian supply ship into orbit, is descended from launch vehicles of the early days of the space race but until now has been a byword for reliability.

Russia delays next manned space flight

August 29, 2011

Russia on Monday delayed its next manned mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by at least a month after an unmanned cargo vessel crashed into Siberia instead of reaching orbit.

Russia blames 'chance' defect for space crash

September 9, 2011

Russia on Friday blamed a one-off production fault in a rocket engine for the crash of an unmanned spaceship last month but nevertheless ordered checks of all similar rocket motors.

Russia sets space crew's return after crash

September 12, 2011

Russia said Monday it would return three of the six international crew members on board the International Space Station to Earth later this week despite no immediate plans to send up their replacement.

Recommended for you

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

July 29, 2015

The coalescence of two black holes—a very violent and exotic event—is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no light of any kind, finding such elusive events has been ...

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

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.