Russia 'to postpone next manned space launch'

January 27, 2012
Russian Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft rests on its launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome in December 2011. Russia is set to pospone the next two manned launches for the International Space Station (ISS) for several weeks due to technical problems with the Soyuz spaceship, an industry source has told the Interfax news agency.

Russia is set to pospone the next two manned launches for the International Space Station (ISS) for several weeks due to technical problems with the Soyuz spaceship, an industry source told Interfax Friday.

The source told Interfax that the Soyuz TMA-04M vessel had not withstood tests to its pressure chamber ahead of the planned mission on March 30 and the first flight would be postponed to mid-April or the first half of May.

"This re-entry capsule now cannot be used for ," the source said.

That mission would fly with the re-entry capsule that was due to go up on the next mission on May 30 and as a result that mission would also likely be postponed to the middle or end of June.

The re-entry capsule goes inside the and is the portion that eventually returns the astronauts to Earth when the mission is over.

Russia now has sole responsibility for taking US and other international astronauts to the ISS following the withdrawal of the US space shuttle but its own space programme has been hit by a string of problems in the last months.

Explore further: Russia delays ISS launch for 'technical reasons'

Related Stories

Russia declares 'era of Soyuz' after shuttle

July 21, 2011

Moscow on Thursday declared it was now "the era of the Soyuz" after the US shuttle's last flight left the Russian system as the sole means for delivering astronauts to the International Space Station.

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.

Russia postpones next manned launch to ISS

September 16, 2011

Russia on Friday said the next manned launch taking astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) would take place two days later than previously announced, on November 14.

Russia resumes manned spaceflight after failures

November 13, 2011

Russia on Monday launches three astronauts for the International Space Station on a key mission Moscow hopes will restore faith in its space programme after an unprecedented string of failures.

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Ceres image: The lonely mountain

August 25, 2015

NASA's Dawn spacecraft spotted this tall, conical mountain on Ceres from a distance of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers).

Dawn spacecraft sends sharper scenes from Ceres

August 25, 2015

The closest-yet views of Ceres, delivered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, show the small world's features in unprecedented detail, including Ceres' tall, conical mountain; crater formation features and narrow, braided fractures.

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.