Russia to postpone next manned space launch

January 31, 2012
A Soyuz rocket is transported to a launch pad in the Russian leased Kazakh Baikonur cosmodrome, 2011. Russia plans to postpone its next manned launch to the International Space Station (ISS) by at least a month.

Russia plans to postpone its next manned launch to the International Space Station (ISS) by at least a month, the head of its space agency's manned programmes told the RIA Novosti news agency Tuesday.

The current mission on the ISS is likely to land around 45 days later than the scheduled March 16, while the next mission set for March 30 will blast off with a similar delay, the Roscosmos official, Alexei Krasnov, said.

"I think their return and the of the next crew will be pushed back by a month or a month-and-a-half," Krasnov said, adding that he would have the exact dates after a teleconference with set for Thursday.

Krasnov said that delays came after the re-entry capsule of the Soyuz TMA-04M to be used in the mission was shown in testing not to be hermetically sealed and could not be used for safety reasons.

That means the next mission will have to replace it with the re-entry capsule intended for the following mission scheduled May 30, which in turn will be delayed.

Krasnov said the delays would not be a problem because the crew currently on the ISS had initially been assigned an "unusually short expedition" of 120 days.

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

Russia now has sole reponsibility 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 recent months.

Explore further: Russia 'to postpone next manned space launch'

Related Stories

Russia 'to postpone next manned space launch'

January 27, 2012

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.

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 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.

Recommended for you

NASA telescope studies quirky comet 45P

November 22, 2017

When comet 45P zipped past Earth early in 2017, researchers observing from NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility, or IRTF, in Hawai'i gave the long-time trekker a thorough astronomical checkup. The results help fill in crucial ...

Uncovering the origins of galaxies' halos

November 21, 2017

Using the Subaru Telescope atop Maunakea, researchers have identified 11 dwarf galaxies and two star-containing halos in the outer region of a large spiral galaxy 25 million light-years away from Earth. The findings, published ...

Cassini image mosaic: A farewell to Saturn

November 21, 2017

In a fitting farewell to the planet that had been its home for over 13 years, the Cassini spacecraft took one last, lingering look at Saturn and its splendid rings during the final leg of its journey and snapped a series ...

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.